I wrote an article once about my first adventures in yoga. I re-read it recently (about a year after my first step into the yoga studio) and think it’s fitting for the new life that breathes with Springtime.

Give this a thought when you explore ideas on how to freshen your outlook on yourself in the new season.

Ah, karma. Yes, attuned to my soul, a pay-it-forward practice cohabitates my life with an adoption of mindfulness that I aim to achieve daily.

I live my life in a way that I perceive to be spiritually open and content. And as someone who lives this lifestyle and loves fitness, you would normally think that the perfect downward-dogcombination of this would result in actively practicing yoga.

Yes, you’d think that.

I’ve always thought that I would be well suited for yoga. I mean, clearly this aspect of my life is missing, right? But for some reason, yoga just never cut it for me. Lack of flexibility would leave me wondering about twisting into seemingly impossible positions; anxiety over germs questioned the whole “bare feet” issue; and sitting still, listening to an mbria (N.B. thumb piano) ensemble perform seventy-five minute minimalist compositions is something I already do as a musicology student.

Alas, I was determined to love yoga. It fits my lifestyle – I know it does – so for last Christmas, I asked for a yoga membership, and when good ol’ Saint Nick followed through, glee filled me with anticipation.

Seven months later, I am still deliberating. First, it was too cold to go outside. Coursework, then, was an overload. And when the warm weather came and the term ended, I could not fathom spending this time indoors. Excuses, I know, and finally I worked up the courage and joined. After all, I’d love it. Obviously. Right?

As a result, I joined a Thursday evening beginner Hatha class, ready for this new adoption into my life that should already be there.

The first class was a mix of excitement and nervousness as I’m not one to engage in any sort of social interaction other than with the grocery store cashiers (and even then, self-scan is usually my beat). Despite the class being more meditation based,it took a different turn; the relaxation that I assumed would encompass me was replaced with 75 minutes thinking about everything other than my breathing, my body, and my mind. Instead, I thought about the broccoli salad I had for lunch, wondering if the gas building in my belly would hold out at least until I was out the door. I contemplated why my leg wouldn’t bend more than four inches. I held my breath as the person next to me and I accidentally brushed hands, urging the negative thoughts of germophobia out of my head. Needless to say, this exercised my mind more than anything else.

Class two was an improvement, until we incorporated the use of blankets. I was proud of myself, and other than picturing enoki mushrooms every time I closed my eyes, I was focusing really well. However, as my head leaned toward the blanket, trying to overcome the barrier of someone else using this before me, I realized that a previous person had clearly owned a cat. My cat hair allergy and I sniffed and snorted all the way to Savasana.

Due to the remarkable rainy days, class three was extremely small, and this time, I began to understand what this whole yoga thing was all about. I breathed, stretched, moved, relaxed and finally incorporated the peace that I feel with myself in my yoga.

Because of this new found realization, I knew that yoga was going to be an integral part of my life hereafter. Granted, I already told myself this many moons ago – but now it was real. Our teacher was absent for class for, and the owner stepped in. As a registered yoga instructor, registered dietician, and certified personal trainer, she wears many hats – but the loveliest one of all, was her hat of kindness.

Her small but growing studio is a lot like many people’s passion for yoga – including her own. I didn’t feel alone when the owner mentioned that at first, she didn’t really like yoga either. And so I asked her, other than the “typical benefits” of yoga, what else can one gain from it?

Without hesitation, she replied: “life skills, compassion, and dealing with different situations. You soon can look at any situation from the outside, and you learn to be content no matter what position you’re in – yoga, or otherwise.”

Through my practice thus far, and my mindful-life approach, I realize how much yoga will assist in my growth. At the end of class four, she read a passage to us: “Learn to live with unfinished projects. Find joy all along the way. Enjoy the process today.”

Whether it’s meditation, yoga, or just a little bit of mindfulness, creating this haven of bliss for ourselves is easy, we just need to slow down and be in the moment. If yoga isn’t your thing (but it very well might be – trust me), Sukha’s fall classes will include philosophy, posture clinics, nutrition seminars, and more.

Now tonight, as you are sitting in your recliner, watching sitcom reruns, and reading this article, take a break and explore your mind; meanwhile, I’m maneuvering myself into the limber Yogini that I am striving to be.

———

Since then, I’ve attended many classes thrice weekly, and heard that quote a few more times (and many more after that, echoing in my head). Although I’m not as limber as I anticipated I would be at this point, I do I realize, even more, how much yoga has continued to help me grow.

“Learn to live with unfinished projects. Find joy all along the way. Enjoy the process today.”

—–

Just starting yoga? Visit Yoga for Beginners for some basic know-how
Explore Yoga Journal magazine for some great tips and information
Check out our review on Yogo yogawear, a great Ottawa-based company

 


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