"To perform every action artfully is yoga.” - Swami Kripalu
I tried my first yoga class with my college roommate my freshmen year in college. I grabbed one of her extra yoga mats and we bopped over to the gym. I snagged a spot in the front and got settled in. I considered myself athletic, and I only was expecting breathing exercises and stretching, so why would I not go to the front? Right?!? After a few minutes in, I quickly realized I was so in over my head. I was stiff, out of shape, and weak. The most basic movements seemed difficult and with every breath I was losing more and more confidence. This was a day, I was wishing that I would have went to the back of the class. After 60 minutes of torture, I vowed to never return to the yoga halls of hell.
Once I graduated college, I decided I wanted to increase my flexibility, so back to the yoga mat I went. This time I was more prepared. I made sure I went to a beginners class, snagged a spot on the last row, and had a full jug of water. Although I was just as stiff as I was during my first class, I felt much more comfortable and confident this time.
Over the next several years, I would go to a yoga class once or twice a month. Although I wasn't going frequently, I was slowly getting better. My downward facing dog felt less and less tortuous and I was actually breathing in sync with my movements. Initially, the most dramatic result of my yoga practice was me being away from my phone for 90 minutes. There is literally no other time in my entire week when I am truly only focusing on my self.
Leaving classes, I found myself feeling calm, relaxed, and strong. It was a perfect mix of investing in my physical and emotional well-being. To deepen my practice (don't I sound like a real yogi) I've decided to become a yoga instructor. Now, I can't do a hand stand or the splits or like anything else really outside of child pose... So let the journey begin.