The sun was shining, the people were out walking their dogs, and the kids were riding their bikes. It was unseasonably beautiful for a February morning. I decided to do something I’d been wanting to do for a long time, and that was attend a yoga class taught by my dear friend Emily.
I had done yoga in high school, as a part of my P.E. class. I enjoyed it, but I never saw it as the “spiritually awakening experience” it had been portrayed as. For me, it was a glorified nap if not 45 minutes of half-assed stretching.
Recently though I’ve been going through a bit more of a struggle. I was unemployed for a month and I was having a really hard time motivating myself to do anything. The sun hiding behind layers of clouds and fog did not help my depressed state. Now that I’ve found a new job, and have actually set foot outside, I felt like now was as good a time as ever.
When the class began, the air fell silent, and the light dimmed to only a few flickering candles. All I could hear was the embracing music and the soft instruction guiding me gently into position.
Near the end of the class I was sweating, shaking, and an overall mess. Surprisingly though I did not care. My hamstrings were on fire, but it did not matter. I was going to complete this class without holding back. Emily instructed us into our final few poses, and ended the class.
I don’t know what happened in that room, but all of the sweat and strained muscles seemed to disappear. All that mattered was my breathing and feeling the Earth beneath me. She’d say–“I am here, and all is well.” In that moment, I knew that I was there. In that moment, I knew that all was well.
I encourage anyone who has ever been curious about yoga to go out and do it. I took it seriously and I was not disappointed. I will definitely be making a habit out of this! I walked out of that class on a cloud, and I stayed on it over lunch with Emily; a lunch that lasted nearly 4 hours! I didn’t know it at the time, but I really needed a day like that. I’m ready to start my week with a clear head, and I have Emily and yoga to thank for this optimism.
I will leave you how Emily left our class–with a quote that sunk into me deeper with every word.
“Have patience with all things, but first with yourself. Never confuse your mistakes with your value as a human being. You’re a perfectly valuable, creative, worthwhile person simply because you exist. And no amount of triumphs and tribulations can ever change that. Unconditional self-acceptance is the core of a peaceful mind.” -Saint Francis de Sales