Namaste, downward dog, and the tree position was all I knew about Yoga until this past Saturday when I went to my first ever yoga class with my brother.
Yoga’s something I’ve wanted to try for a while but never had the courage to go on my own for the sole reason of me being a complete and utter newbie. It dawned on me one day though, that duh, my brother does yoga religiously, why don’t I go with him? So that’s what I did – told him I wanted to go and he made it happen. Also, turns out that the place we went to was literally down the street from my condo, so that was a nice bonus.
We registered Friday night for the Saturday 11:30am yoga class; I was nervous but super excited it was finally happening. I had plans to start my Saturday relatively early to get some things done for the blog and around the house but that didn’t end up happening at all, and frankly not even close. I was still eating breakfast when my brother messaged me to say that he was on his way (and my parents live about 10 minutes away from us with no traffic.) And surprise surprise, I was running a little late.
We arrived at the yoga studio (shout out to Barre Life Studio in Oakville for being so friendly and very cute) and quickly completed our paper work. Once we finished that, the receptionist showed me the change room and off we went to enter the softly lit and quiet room. For me, this part was the most intimidating. I had no idea where to put my matt, how to sit while we waited for the instructor, and where to look, but then I just followed my brothers lead and I was good, lol.
After the awkward sitting and wandering eyes, it wasn’t long before the instructor entered the room. Her name was Laura and she was cute and friendly, which helped make it a little less daunting. She had asked the class who was new to yoga (LOL I was the only one who raised my hand) so she said to just do what I can throughout the class – I thought, alrighty then, we’re off to a good start. But Laura talked us through everything and I was able to ease into it lightly.
At first I felt super awkward. I don’t remember what we did initially but I remember feeling weird about my body positioning and I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to keep staring at Laura (most people had their eyes closed.) But as awkward as I felt, I pushed through and kept telling myself to embrace it – everyone has to start somewhere. And just like that, after doing some warm up stretches and such, I became more comfortable doing the poses and positions and didn’t feel so bad when I couldn’t. I was there to learn and enjoy my experience. Laura was really good at explaining how to do the different movements and kept reminding us to breathe throughout them. Funny how when you’re doing physical activity, you actually need a reminder to breathe, something so natural to us.
Throughout the class, Laura taught poses and explained how to do them while repeating the instructions if some of us needed it. She also went around the class to ensure we were all doing proper positioning, which I liked and appreciated. If someone doesn’t correct you, how do you know you’re doing it right? One thing she also did was encourage us to hold the poses. She didn’t give us a timely countdown but kept using encouraging phrases like, “You can do this, you’re stronger than you think” which for someone like me who’s mind always gets the best of them, this helped a lot. Laura also said things like, “This is your yoga, treat it how you wish,” which I thought was a nice touch because everyone meditates in different ways.
Although Yoga is a calming activity, I did find myself coming close to laughing when I couldn’t do a movement or when I would fall out of balance. It’s definitely something I need to work on. I genuinely enjoyed doing the different positions, though; I found them intriguing as to what muscles I was stretching and working on. There was this one stretch we did though, I believe called the Pidgeon (?) that stretched my glute muscles, and let me tell you, that was a feeling I’ve never felt before. This was one of the times I almost started laughing because all I could envision were my butt muscles tearing and never being able to sit again, lol. However, quite interesting if I do say so myself. But my tree stance… that one I nailed 😉 but the downward dog? That was hard for me and it was also corrected by Laura.
For the most part, I’d have to say I don’t think I did too bad for my first time. There were definitely moments where I was struggling to keep the position but I altered my stance and continued on with it. I went home feeling good, and had a refreshing sense of calmness, believe it or not. I also went home and showed Shaun my tree stance which I thought was pretty good – he laughed but then tried it himself. I’m glad I went and grateful that my brother took the time to go with me (or me with him) so that I could experience it.
We have tentative plans to go next Saturday again, but until then, Namaste.