The First Class
I’m not sure where the courage came from, but somehow I ended up at yoga class alone. I walked in, expecting only women (it was a woman’s only gym), under the impression that yoga’s a girly thing (no offence). I also thought it was basically a stretch class, a really long one (90mins) that I had to pay for.
Obviously, I was wrong on many levels, and those who’ve attended yoga classes will giggle. The rest of you, like me, will wonder why there were guys there.
Anyways, I found a mat, took off my shoes and socks (no one else had them on), peeled off jewellery, and looked around. Someone was doing squats, another was trying to touch their toes, someone else sitting feet together moving their knees (butterfly pose), as others wandered in the beating music from the gym entered. Somehow, the white room, wooden floors and natural light encouraged us to quiet down.
I found a spot along the wall (honestly, no one likes the front). The woman beside me, asked if I’d done yoga before, and reassured me it’d be good. She didn’t really answer my “is it easy?” question. The moments before class allowed time to obverse and connect with those around me.
About 10 minutes into class, my thoughts went crazy:
I’m meant to do what?
How the **** am I meant to touch the floor? It hurts just reaching my calf
My arms are burning, why’d anyone need/want to hold them up this long?
This isn’t easy at all
Keep going, only have to finish the class, surely it’s just about done
All my muscles were burning at some point during class. The teacher came to correct my alignment – while I wanted to touch the ground, she wanted to make sure my posture and my spine were correct.
We moved from standing to sitting postures, although they weren’t easier, in fact some were harder.
I sweated and gasped my way through the class, and finally the next position was shoulder-stand. I would’ve done a dance (I could do it!), but my body was so tired I just smiled. That smile quickly faded when the process for shoulder-stands was explained. While the teacher was distracted I got into shoulder-stand the way I knew; then held position, and tried to relax… honestly, have yoga teachers forgotten how tired newbies get?
Lastly, we could relax. There were blankets and lavender eye-pads. Breathing in lavender, my body dropped, and my mind finally gave a sigh of relief. It was a moment that was just me, no expectations or deadlines, nothing except quiet breathing (and soft snoring) in the room. The only way to describe it – peace, in the purest form.
Slowly, we moved from lying down, to sitting, Namaste, and packing up. The quiet sense of peace continued, as though lingering around me. I thanked the teacher and headed home, mentally and physically tired. My body had definitely been pushed, and my mind’s constant chatter silenced.
The only reason I went back to Yoga was the feeling I had the following morning; my muscles didn’t ache. I felt refreshed, energised, excited for life.
Note: I then went for a run, and ruined it