I went to my first yoga class when I moved into a house with a yoga studio at the end of my street. I joined one of their introductory offers and my first class was a beginner class.
I was excited to be doing something good for myself and also a little more than curious about what yoga actually was. The room was dark, with a mirror stretching along the side wall and strange music playing. I arrived early and was the first person in the room and just sat on my mat, waiting for the class to start. Fit, athletic-looking people in tight, skimpy clothing started to trickle in and they started rolling their mats out the other way. I was facing the wrong way, and instead of being in the back I was in the front row…
The teacher introduced himself and said it would be a gentle class. It started off slow and gentle but 20 minutes in it was anything but easy.
The first thing I recalled was how hard downward facing dog was. I hated the pose and thought it was stupid. The teacher kept telling us it was a resting pose but my shoulders were struggling to hold me up and my hands kept slipping all over the place. It was really annoying.
Then we had to do all these push ups. Everyone seemed so strong and able to move with such control. I just collapsed to the mat each time, making a mental note of how weak my upper body was.
Everyone seemed to magically know what was coming next. I was so uncoordinated and really struggled to keep up. I felt like I was five steps behind each pose. Just as I got into the pose, we had to move on again.
I thought I was flexible, but clearly I wasn’t as I silently compared myself to everyone in the room. They just seemed so bendy. Why couldn’t I reach further? I made a mental note to get really flexible.
We kept having to do all these standing poses with our arms stretched out or above our head. My arms felt like lead and I really struggled to hold them up. No one else seemed to have a problem with it, no wonder they had such toned arms. Mental note, get stronger.
The thing I really liked was standing on one leg. This was something I could do easily and I felt like I belonged in the yoga class. I felt like a legit yogi! At least one less thing to work on. Must’ve been all those years cooking, washing up and waiting in line on one leg…
The teacher kept telling us to watch our breath. It was really boring. I just wanted to hear which part of my body I was toning or how I could detox from a big night out with some twists…
At the end of the class we were lying on our back and he told us to count our breath back from 50. I think I got to 47 and forgot what I was doing as I was fantasising about myself becoming a yogi. He interrupted the fantasy and said keep counting even if you’ve lost your place. I started and lost count so many times. It seemed really stupid, I can count anytime. I’m paying for yoga.
At the end of the class, they made this weird sound. Everyone humming or singing. I was too self-conscious to join in but it sounded nice. Must be one of those hippie things.
After class I felt really good and just floated home. The next day I bought myself a yoga mat and the rest is history.