Inspirational music plays in the background as I write up this post.
Breathe in. Exhale. Hold pose. Breath in. Exhale.
That's how my morning went. I was excited and elated to participate in a yoga class with my dear friend +Leshia Chandler . I'd prepared myself for this class wondering what it was going to be like. I wasn't sure what to expect. After all, the only experience I've had in any yoga was a home DVD. I've also done pilates and yoga-lates at home. With one class of pilates at my local gym eons ago. Let me tell you this experience was vastly different than my home/gym experiences.
When we walked into the reception area, it was quiet, warm and dimly lit. I was afraid to speak loudly but not in a "I'm gonna get stares" way but in a "I don't want to spoil the mood the atmosphere puts you in".
We were told what to do. To our left were these tall, floor to ceiling tall, glass doors that were frosted about halfway up. We took off our shoes and walked in. Class was already in session. We quietly found our space and fell into immediately following what the instructor was doing. Easy peasy, right? While I can't speak for Leshia's experience, I can speak to my own.
As I walked in, immediately my olfactory senses were engulfed by the sweet smell of burning incense. Mmmm how I love incense. It puts you in a state of calm and I just want to bask in it. The serene and calming music was softly playing in the background. You could hear the quiet exhales of the other participants as they followed the yoga instructions.
For the life of me, I can't tell you the name of the poses, except for the tree pose. But each and every pose had you working your body as one to achieve a common goal. That is how I felt. I used muscles I knew I had just never used. My equilibrium and stamina were put to a test. My whole body was a workout machine, beastly. :-)
It was easy listening to the instructor tell you what to do and transition from pose to pose. What wasn't easy is maintaining that balance required for some poses. I know for a fact that we were in a beginners class because we did poses that were relatively easy. None of that upside down, one handed, feet in the air poses. Thank goodness! There was one pose, that was an inverted pose, I think, that the instructor said we could do if we felt comfortable trying it out. Yeah.. I wasn't trying that. I would have surely busted my ass on the floor. I will be trying it at home though. :-)
Her soft voice penetrated your mind and brought you to focus on what needed to be done. I will remember one thing she said, it was another type of pose or stretching pose where you hug yourself. She said give yourself a big hug, we don't tend to hug ourselves enough. That is especially true for me. While I love getting and receiving hugs, hugging yourself is something you should do everyday. It sounds and looks silly but LOVE yourself first. If you don't love yourself, how in the world are you gonna love somebody else - in my Ru Paul voice.
In the end, I felt great. My body is tired but not overly so where I feel beat up. I can tell that I did work my body using my body. That is key. Most especially, I had time to just focus on what I want in life. I even had time to pray when we were holding positions. I couldn't clear my mind but I could direct it to where I wanted to to be. I prayed for my family. I prayed for my friends who are experiencing changes and chartering new territories. I prayed for myself. But most of all, I thanked our Lord for the blessings I've received thus far.
I still meditate and can see myself adding yoga to my routine. Gradually, I will become one with myself. I will help and love myself so that I can in turn help others and love more deeply and freely.
After all, love, kindness, compassion and understanding can help to make us amazing human beings. As long as you are true to yourself, you know where your heart is, you are well on your way to being who you want to be and achieve what you want, no matter what.
Thank you for reading - Namaste
Om Chakra is the place where we went to practice yoga.