When I told a friend I was going to take my first yoga class, her response was "You're going to get all sweaty." I thought, why? It's just stretching? Boy was I wrong!
I was at Lotus Yoga and Wellness Center for their open house. I politely told the ladies in the room that I was a yoga virgin, and I didn't know what equipment I needed. They smiled sweetly and encouraged, "Someone had to tell us, too." Two women took my hands and walked me over to where the equipment was stored.
With the proper equipment selected, my place on the floor claimed, I waited for class to start. The instructor, Sue Park, walked in with such an aura of peace and comfort; it was trust at first sight! However, these are some things that I learned very quickly....
* Yoga is very difficult if you can't get your mind to clear.
* You are crazy if you don't think you're going to sweat.
* Even if you used to be a dancer, it doesn't mean that balance and flexibility are automatic.
* It helps to know the terminology so you don't get a kink in your neck trying to watch everyone else.
* Yoga takes practice to fully enjoy and appreciate the benefits.
It might sound like I didn't like yoga, but that's not the case. Once I figured out what some of the stretches were, my body responded with a familiar feeling. It brought back fond memories of "good dance stretching.” I began to think of all the great memories I had growing up as a dancer.
Then I suddenly became sad. Once again I began to mourn what was unexpectedly taken from me. I suddenly felt the need to cry. Next, anger welled up as I put myself down for perceived lack of balance and flexibility. I hated what was happening in my head as I wandered through so many emotions in a 60 minute class. Yet in the end, I found myself strangely at peace, despite being forced to face things that apparently still affected me after so long. Yoga’s effect was more than just physical. Even as a beginner, it began working on my heart and head as well as my body.
My favorite thing about the yoga class was the leader. I admired how helpful and peaceful Sue was. She was very attentive and patient as I struggled to get into most of the poses. Sue was always magically by my side, giving me suggestions on how to position myself to get the most from the poses. Despite the emotional battle going on inside my head and my heart, Sue was helping my body to find its sweet spot. This allowed me to let go of everything, and find peace all around. I may have been struggling internally that entire hour, but I had fallen in love with this experience overall.
I was told of an amazing opportunity that encouraged me to step even farther out of my comfort zone. Sue was going to do a week-long yoga retreat in Belize! What an opportunity. My heart ached to join in, but I just wasn't ready to jump yet.
Three days later, when I went back to the Spa for another event, the flyer began to taunt me. Technically, I could tighten the reins and save up enough money for the February trip. I needed to have a vacation. I hadn't experienced that in a long time. What better way to really find one’s self? I wanted to be able to look back and have no regrets.
Yoga is not easy. It's not for everyone. However, this was an amazing opportunity, and I decided I was going to jump! I put down a deposit and began to make payments. I was sure I was going to drive everyone crazy until February, but I didn't care. I was going to Belize!
Thank you Lotus Yoga and Wellness Spa for being so helpful to this yoga virgin! I couldn't have asked for a better experience as a first timer. I cannot WAIT to go again!
A girl just trying to find her way, stepping outside of her comfort zone, trying new things, and making new friends along the way!