"Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim.
The better your practice, the brighter the flame."
Over last winter, my sister Mary Evelyn and I, on my Saturday rounds to the library and post office, would venture into a thrift shop in front of the library. Next door to the thrift shop is a health food store the we had never ventured into at the time. One Saturday morning last spring, I woke up with my daily journey in mind and knew I was going to pop into the health food store that day mainly to see if they had some almond oil and lavender essential oil. There was no question in my mind that I wasn't going. When I arrived I was greeted by a soon-to-be new friend that helped me find what I needed and told me that they had just finished their yoga class in the back of the store. I was immediately intrigued as I had recently been looking into yoga in the form of videos and library books. She told me what the class times were and what it took to join them and the next Saturday I showed up. I enjoyed my first class, but still didn't understand or take hold of what yoga can mean to both my mind and body, but at my second class I was really more in tune and left my jitters at home.
Our class teacher, Tracy, has a wonderful way of teaching. We set our positive intention at the beginning of class and work on our breathing throughout the practice, there is light music playing and this being a beginners class it is a pretty even flow of yoga that isn't too hard.
I have been attending class ever since on Saturday mornings and sometimes Tuesday evenings. I initially wanted to try yoga to build up my body strength. I just felt weak physically. I had no idea the benefits my mind and body both would gain. During our family trip to Florida, I got up each morning (naturally before everyone else) and headed to the lower deck of the house on the beach and performed my yoga practice of combined poses that I could remember. I surprised myself when the first day my yoga lasted over thirty minutes. It felt really good beginning my day in this manner. I even had one of my nieces join me a few days! Since then I have not stuck to my daily morning schedule like I had hoped but when I do yoga in the morning it seems to wake me up in a very different way, before and better then any caffeine.
I have even involved the kids at the day care, teaching them simple poses like cat/cow, down dog, cobra and lion, with the help of a library book or two from the kids section. They love it as well.
I remember reading a comment from a lady who said "I tried yoga once but was so embarrassed at how not limber my body was, I never went back." I tell you what... my body, even being a smaller person yet still over forty, was not limber at all. At times I almost feel disappointed in my body for acting it's age and muscles not letting me do what the others in the class are doing and even feeling "my body will never do that." But I am learning to be patient with my body and have actually achieved a bit of pride when I reach certain poses the right way. Heck, when I first started, I was on tip toes in down dog and now my heels touch sometimes. Also, my body has changed. I have muscle definition and am trimming and toning. Shaun noticed that when I got home from vacation more than my Coppertone tan.
I strongly encourage you to try yoga. If you have and didn't like it, try a different place or teacher or a beginner's class. If you approach yoga the right way, learn as you go, breath, and be patient with your body, you will find a different you that you probably didn't know was in there and a peace like never before.
Here are a couple of my favorite links and books.
A good dvd I rented from the library although I'm not real good at following a dvd.
And my favorite youtube gal... Yoga with Adriene
And a couple of silly pics from the dc.
I feel as if I haven't said enough about how yoga has enhanced and been of benefit to my life. I reckon I could just go on and on about some things. The quote at the top and this one are from a weekly emailed newsletter from my yoga teacher Tracy.
"Yoga allows you to rediscover a sense of wholeness in your life." BKS Iyengar