When I signed up for my first yoga class in 2001, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
I knew nothing about yoga, except for the idea that thin flexible people do it. I was enamored by the word yoga. It was cool, trendy and I wanted to be part of it.
Sitting at the breakfast table looking at the newspaper ad for a beginners yoga class, I could feel the excitement begin to bubble up. Yes, I can do this!
I called and signed up. I was so happy....I am really going to do this! I am taking a yoga class!
I emailed the teacher to make sure I knew exactly what to wear and what I needed to bring.
I was prepared! I told myself, “I’ve got this!”
On the first day of class, my mind started racing. Why did I sign up for this stupid class? I know I am not going to make it through the class. My anxiety is at an all time high. What if everyone looks at me, what if they start judging me? What if I have a panic attack during class?
Pull yourself together! You can do this.
I arrived at the gym. It was a big place and the yoga room was located down a hallway on the other side of the gym. Those thoughts kept entering my mind. Panic, anxiety and fear.
My stomach was churning with butterflies.
Smile and be friendly. That’s all you can do. If I couldn’t make it through the class, then I knew I could leave, but I was afraid that people would make fun of me if I left. Ugh, why did I ever come here!
The yoga teacher was friendly. She was small but mighty. She was the kind of woman I had admired and longed to be like! Fearless! Powerful!
She had us do a centering where we focused on just breathing. I could feel the waves of peace slowly make their way in through the negative thoughts and through the mental chatter.
Her words still ring through my ears today, “Once the practice of relaxation has been mastered, peace can be called upon at will.” In that moment I was hooked. I wanted that peace in my life.