Although this was not my instructor-led yoga class, everything felt different.
It had been about five years and two children since I attended a yoga class. That was my very first class and to be honest, it wasn’t terrible but it left a lot to be desired. The class was lengthy and it felt very instructional. It was also very crowded and held in our community college’s gymnasium but overall, I enjoyed it and I liked how I felt after each class.
And then the summer ended. And the class ended.
And then I had kids. And a full-time job. And the leisure time I thought I had vanished from me. I had a lot of excuses for why I didn’t want to go back to a class.
What if I couldn’t find a class I liked? What if it didn’t compare to the first one? What if I had to go by myself? What if the class was packed? What if I was judged during class for my lack of fitness?
My anxieties and worries started resurfacing just in time to stop me from doing something that I love…again. If this is familiar to you, I sympathize deeply.
But since I knew I was suffering from anxiety, panic attacks, and depression, I knew yoga might help manage some of it. So I would occasionally try to do yoga at home and follow along to YouTube videos.
That didn’t work.
Maybe it works for some. It just doesn’t work for me. Apparently, my toddlers do not like to be still (who would’ve guessed?!) and they also don’t like for me to be still. Imagine doing a forward bend with two boys trying to climb up you. I also found that I was less likely to do longer sessions or more complex poses because, well, who would know if I didn’t? Turns out I’m not good at self-discipline either.
So, one day, I casually brought up the idea of taking a class with a friend of mine. If it wasn’t for her persistence, I really wouldn’t have taken it. She did a lot of the heavy lifting by finding the class and finding a day that worked for both of us. It was no easy task!
Thankfully, she discovered a class at our Recreation Center that only cost $5!!! Other classes in our area were upwards of $15. So, please, please, PLEASE! Go check your local rec center and see what is available in your area! That price was hard to turn down and was a large factor that pushed me into going!
So then, reality sat in and all of my anxieties came true. The first day of my first class, I was so worried about remembering my wallet and making sure I had money to pay for the class, that I forgot my yoga mat. HOW? So naturally, I turned back to get it and was late for class. As I walked into the small, dark room, I felt that familiar and strong desire to run far away. But the welcoming arms of the instructor pulled me back in and assured me that I was not interrupting and to go ahead and take my place in the room.
I must have gotten pretty flabby over the last five years because let me tell ya, this class was no walk in the park. It was heavily focused on strength and balance and I was sweating 15 minutes in. Even though the poses were difficult, the instructor really made all the difference. She was there to remind us that no one knew what difficulties we were facing but us, and only we could ultimately decide what was right for our bodies. She always would remind us that it was okay to go into an easier pose if we needed to. Even so, it was difficult to resist trying to keep up with the people next to me. Finally, the instructor ended the class in a Savasana with an optional aromatherapy session.
This class turned out to be the best yoga class I had ever been a part of. I forgot how difficult I thought it was at the beginning and truly felt peaceful at the end. It helped me see how much strength and balance I have lost over the years and it has encouraged me to work on improving it. It also is helping me learn to quiet the mind and practice stress-management throughout my week. I give thanks to the anxiety-ridden, past-version of myself for sucking it up during the uncomfortable parts three months ago. Because of that decision, I’m back to taking weekly yoga classes and learning to take some time for myself.
Until our next adventure,