Several years ago I discovered yoga. I didn’t mean to; it really was just by chance. What I really wanted was to learn how to meditate. I thought that would fix everything in my life that needed fixing.
I found a place in Uptown that said they offered meditation workshops on their website. I gave them a call and was told that they didn’t have any workshops coming up, but they had yoga classes going on and he encouraged me to give it a try. I tried to explain to him that I couldn’t do yoga. I was not flexible enough, not strong enough, not thin enough – you get the picture. He was a kind man who said, "I promise you – you can do yoga. Please come and try." So I did.
What I found was a wonderful, caring instructor who supported me through the entire class and guess what? I could do yoga. I loved that class and left feeling like this was something I was supposed to do. Like it was something that was a part of who I was.
And so my journey began. Since that time, I have explored countless modalities and countless instructors. I have found things that resonated with me and things that don’t – and yet, the yoga is something I always go back to. It opened up my entire world and is the reason I am where I am today. I feel so much better when I do it and I love the "eyes on your own mat" philosophy where everyone else in the room disappears and my focus is truly on what feels good to me, not what I look like or wishing I could go deeper into a pose like the person across the room.
One of my students asked me recently what the goal was of a pose we were doing. She wanted to know what it was "supposed" to look like. I told her that it was supposed to look the way it felt the best, and I meant that. Yoga is all about nurturing your body, your mind, and your spirit – nothing more and nothing less. There are many forms out there, but at the core, this is what yoga is all about. You will probably become more flexible and stronger and your poses may shift over time, but today, it’s about what feels right.
I know many people who feel the same way I did. They are afraid to do yoga, because of how they might look. They think they can’t do it because they aren’t flexible enough, or strong enough, or thin enough. I am proof that anyone truly can do yoga. You just need to find the style and instructor that works for you. I hope you will give yoga a try and remember to keep your eyes on your own mat and nurture your body, your mind and your spirit.