I took my first studio yoga class on Sunday. To say I loved it is an understatement. I’ve had an on and off yoga practice (I really shouldn’t even call it a practice, because it has been so inconsistent) for the past couple of years. I’ve taken a few yoga classes while we were members at various gyms, but I’ve always been on the lookout for a studio in this area and a desire to commit to a regular practice. I was envious of my friends in Atlanta, Chicago and Seattle who had a studio on every corner and could pop in after work for a little mind and body awareness, work-out and relaxation. However, the closest studio has always been across the river and a good 30 minute drive away. Not anymore!!! While we’re living with my sister, I could probably walk to the new studio. And our new house is only a few miles around the corner.
I took a power basics class on Sunday that wasn’t very basic. I was familiar with most of the poses; it was basic because it was just a slower pace. We started with sun salutations, moved into downward dog, warrior one and two, chair pose, triangle pose, forward folds and half lifts, and many more.
My favorite part of the class was in pigeon pose, a hip opener. Annalisa said that stress and anxiety are often stored in our hips and this pose will release that tension. She asked us to be present - To let the worries from last week leave. “They’re not here,” she said. Forget about the demands of next week. “They, too, are not here.” She asked for it to be just us and the mat, right now, in this moment. It was powerful for me to focus on my breath, and just be. I left feeling better and more energized than when I arrived.
**** Fast forward five months
Today, five months into a regular yoga practice, I am stronger inside and out than I’ve ever been before. Since the beginning of August, I have become an ambassador at my studio, taken a full day workshop, and am considering 200 hour teacher training. I love coming to my mat, setting my intention, becoming aware of my breath, acknowledging my fears and my worries, and leaving them all right there on the mat, walking away a better, lighter person. God is in my yoga practice. He meets me there. He speaks through each and every teacher. In the quiet and stillness of Shavasana I am learning to listen, to have gratitude for myself, and to embrace change in order to experience growth.
I am looking forward to writing more about this topic and just wanted to give an update.
By the way, this was the morning view from my mat this weekend. Amazing.