My love affair with yoga started at age 24 when I was a flight attendant based in Calgary. I was a gym frequenter who used treadmills that happened to be situated outside the group fitness room.
Weeks went by as I watched the unusually serene yoga teacher wait outside the door with her students as the class before them got their belongings together. I wondered what all this yoga stuff was about and wished there were windows into the room so I could check it out. The word “yoga” felt exotic and potent. But back in 2000, I had never seen any pictures of poses nor was there any information around about it. It was like a little secret that would in later years explode and revolutionize the way westerners moved their bodies. And I kind of wanted to know the secret.
So one week I mustered up the courage to go. I remember feeling weird about taking off my sneakers and we all used thick gym mats.. Unbeknownst to me, it was an Ashtanga class, fast paced and strong. Walking out of that first class I felt like I’d been hit by a MAC truck but also a little euphoric.
I was hooked.
Fast forward 16 years and a raw beginner yogi walked into my Athlete’s class at Purple Lotus. He declared himself a scared first timer and admitted his wife talked him into coming. He did his best throughout the class and I helped where I could but his first experience was clearly overwhelming for him. Thankfully, he came back the next week. I asked what brought him back and he said he felt better after class than when he walked in.
Any new experience has a steep learning curve but what I think is most interesting and inspiring about us human beings is that our pull to feel well is stronger than our fears and confusion. To help make a beginner’s experience a bit sweeter, I run Beginner Yoga sessions throughout the fall and winter so new students to yoga (or students who’ve been away from it for a while) can learn the basics with simple explanations and lots of demonstrations in a setting where everyone is in the same new boat.
If you know someone who could benefit from yoga but might be a bit shy about joining a drop-in class or if you’ve been out of the yoga world for a while and want to get back into it, upcoming sessions run Sep 6-29/16 and Nov 15-Dec 15/16.
Register for the Sep Beginner’s Session here