When I read Sascha’s latest blog post about the power of yoga, I wanted to share a quick story about my first ever yoga experience which actually only took place a few weeks ago. I’ll admit, Sascha has been encouraging me to incorporate yoga into my wellness regime along with my weekly acupuncture sessions for quite some time now. I finally built up the courage and went along to a studio close to where I live. My plan was to set myself up right at the back of the class. I had never tried yoga before; I have a very fragile lower back; I am ridiculously inflexible; and I didn’t want anyone to watch me.
When the instructor came in, he decided to conduct the class from the back of the studio! There I was … right in the very front row! Let me stress, I had selected a “beginners’ basics” class, but some of my fellow participants appeared to be warming up like elastic bands! I honestly can’t remember when I last sat cross-legged on a mat. It could have been in grade 4 at primary school. Was this already a pose? I was already in pain! The instructor led us through some breathing techniques that I couldn’t even get right! Something about trying to make a soft whispering sound as I tried to inhale through my mouth?!?
A few of my classmates (perhaps the elastic banders!) would hum every now and then. I couldn’t tell who since I was keeping my eyes closed and was very focused on my newfound breathing style! When the actual movement (stretching) began, so did the mega sweats! As we were guided through warrior pose, tree pose, child pose, and downward dog I considered asking for a mop since the puddle of sweat on my mat was becoming a small pond! I was feeling more exhausted than after a 20km walk or a spin class! I hadn’t even moved off my mat!
The instructor dimmed the lights and his voice became almost trance like. I was lying in a pool of sweat on my mat with my eyes closed counting my breaths. He told us to focus on every part of the body – from the little toe to the knee … to the …I literally fell asleep.
I heard the sound of a chime and opened my eyes. My classmates were back to sitting cross-legged with their hands in prayer-like pose. He then said “Namaste” and everyone stood up. That’s when I peeled myself off the mat! I must have only dosed off for a few minutes but I felt like I had slept for hours. My body felt amazing. I had an incredible sense of clarity. It was one of the most amazing hours of my life (and I’m not exaggerating). That night I slept straight through the night. I can’t remember when that last happened.
My lower back hasn’t been playing up; My stress levels are practically non-existent; and I feel like I am in complete control of everything … without my usual emotional spikes.
Thank you for encouraging me to try yoga, Sascha!
I’m off to join Cirque du Soleil!