Today I went to my first yoga class at Kaleidoscope Yoga and Wellness. My experience there fills me with hope. Yoga has always intimidated me. To start with, I’m from New York, and we are not the most calm and chill bunch in the good old United States of America. This usually spills over in the form of bluntness, sarcastic humor and sometimes a bit of cynicism. New Yorkers can also be a bit competitive. When you grow up with one hundred people sharing the same square foot of space, you tend to adopt some pretty interesting personality traits. Being centered is not a normal state for me. I’ve also been a bit sedentary in the last six months and so I’m very thankful that I’m an honest person. When our instructor asked if I was “new” to yoga I told the truth. Thank goodness I did.
My friends and I were greeted by Sue Morris. It is difficult for me to describe her. To me, Sue was radiant, as if she was beaming light rays. No kidding! She had this huge smile on her face, she emanated passion about her yoga practice, and was very welcoming. I immediately felt like I belonged in her studio. The room was warm and inviting, each person had a yoga mat waiting for them, and the gentle smell of essential oils filled the room.
I told Sue that I had horrible balance. Using the word horrible was an understatement, I’m the person who walks into walls, who stumbles when standing, and who takes nature walks and just ignores the stones that people use to cross the creek. I avoid those stones because I know that it’s just a matter of time before I fall off of them. In fact, I just wade through the creek and keep on hiking. It’s definitely a point of frustration for me.
OK, so back to telling Sue about my balance. She smiled and told me that we only use positive words in yoga practice. Little did she know that I was really toning it down! Her words stopped me in my tracks. I had to take a moment to think, was I really being negative? I came to the conclusion that I actually was, and it startled me! Being negative doesn’t allow you to grow. All it does is put you in a box. Since I really do want to grow and improve my body and mind I let her words rest in my heart. Besides practicing yoga, I decided then and there to practice how I use my words, not only on paper, but verbally to myself and to the ones I love.
That lasted for 30 seconds.
As Sue led us through our poses, I felt the strain on my balance and my muscles. I felt angry and frustrated and teary eyed and hissy all at the same time. All of those negative, self depreciating thoughts charged through my head like a herd of angry elephants. What surprised me most was the anger. I was angry at my body’s limitations and angry that I was feeling angry! Where was my moment of Zen?
There was no giving up. I altered my poses, I worked with my body, and focused on the task at hand. I slowly stretched deeper, learned how to breathe correctly and for the first time in a very long time, I just stayed in the moment. My first thought after class was that I felt happy, at peace and had an overall feeling of contentment. Then doubts crept into my mind and I wondered whether or not I was good enough to come back.
I decided that yoga wasn’t about whether I was good enough. Yoga is about knowing that I am and honoring that goodness. I’m looking forward to going back next week and learning more about myself. Thank you Sue. Namaste.
“I honor the place in you where Spirit lives
I honor the place in you which is
of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace,
when you are in that place in you,
and I am in that place in me,
then we are One.”
To find out more about Sue and Kaleidoscope Yoga and Wellness, click here!