Returning to Yoga Class
Being neither athletic nor thin, I suck at sports. I always have. And being a tad lazy, no exercise plan ever stuck.
As an adult, I practiced Yoga in spurts. Sporadically enough that I never got beyond Beginner, yet I knew I would never embarrass myself. I am fairly flexible and my balance is not bad. Yoga is the only physical activity where I ever felt on an even playing mat. Why did I ever stop doing it?
I keep meaning to find a class, but nothing is ever convenient and I always get sidetracked. I’ve been losing weight slowly, but to get off this plateau I need to exercise. Besides, the world knows every ailment in life is cured by exercise.
Day of Reckoning
A company email announces that Yoga is coming to my workplace. It doesn’t get more convenient; I don’t even want to make excuses. Six Wednesdays, eight bucks a class if you pay for all six upfront. I am the first one to sign up. I am psyched.
But Yoga Day One dawns and now I am terrified. Is this my first Yoga class in three years? More? More, I’m sure. Oh my god, I am fifty-one. I don’t look it, but I often feel it. This is going to be a class of Millennials and I am going to embarrass myself badly. What if I can’t hold my Downward Dog anymore?
But the class is small and only one person looks like a serious practitioner.
The teacher speaks calmly and tells the class to only go as far as their bodies are comfortable going. She basically gives us permission to stand there and watch if it suits us. And it’s like she means it. The class starts off slowly and I am keeping up fine. But I know enough not to be fooled by the first ten minutes.
This class is different. The teacher places more emphasis on breath awareness and mindfulness than any class I’ve been in before. She speaks of being present in the moment. We close our eyes often. We start with Sun Salutations. Even holding the Downward Dogs seems easy.
We end the class in the Corpse Pose and the teacher goes around to touch each person. When she gets to me, she presses down on my shoulders and I smell a burst of lavender oil.
The first class is over and I feel great. I go up two flights in my socks to my desk and I feel kind of high and spacey. People stream into my cubicle with their problems yet I am smiling at them.