The first time I EVER did yoga was when I was working in Stamford, CT and the gym was in the same building as my office. I remember feeling so intimidated because I had no idea what I was doing. Would my posture be right? Would I lose my balance when I had to hold a pose? And worst of all......do I look like a yogi in these clothes? Yes, I was that preoccupied with how I looked in a class that would challenge me to juggle breathing with posturing, stretching and contorting. Strangely, I found that after all that, I was as mellow as a jellyfish on muscle relaxers. In fact, I was so at peace and relaxed that even my overly chauvinistic and needy boss couldn't rile me up. It felt so good, I had to go back. And so I did.
Now, almost 7 years later after having two kids, I'm finally able to get back to doing yoga on a regular basis. Yes, roughly 7 years have passed since I had last done downward facing dog. I did have a couple of opportunities to indulge my love of yoga over the years, but they were few and far between. A video here, a class there, but nothing regular to help me keep my peace of mind in check.
And even though it took me THIS long to get back to yoga, I myself would've thought I'd been practicing all along......and perhaps others in my class would've thought so as well. The postures, poses and vinasa flows all seem to come so naturally. Depending on the day, my balance may be great....or not. Just today I wasn't able to stay in half moon pose with my leg off the floor. Then there are other days when I could stay in tree pose all day, focusing on my dristi point. One of my other favorites that always "poses" a challenge for me is eagle pose, but I always feel so accomplished when I'm able to hold the pose without even so much as a tremble.
I love it when the instructor really pushes the class with challenging poses. It helps me to find my range of flexibility and work to become even more flexible.
I once read that a flexible body is an indication of a flexible mind. If that's the case, then I'm doing pretty good, but I'd like my mind and body to be this flexible:My friend, Lissy is a yoga instructor at Kripalu Wellness Center in Lenox, MA and she is such an inspiration to me. She has been studying yoga for years now and just got back from studying in India. How wonderful for her. She can do reverse warrior.....and really any other pose like no one I've ever seen. In this shot, it's reverse warrior. I'll have to find out her secret for becoming so open through the ribcage.
For now though, I will take comfort that I am incredibly open through the hips, which allows me to do butterfly and pigeon pose with ease. I can hold my own in class and when a challenging pose presents itself, a little voice inside of me says, "Bring it on!".
Thanks for reading!