My First Yoga Class
My first yoga experience was at a beginner’s class at Yoga House Pasadena on January 21st, 2008. While I was waiting for the class to start, I felt very nervous but decided that I would just observe what other people were doing and copy their moves as best I could.
When I entered the room, a few students were already there meditating, so I placed my yoga mat on the floor, sat on it and quietly waited. By the time the instructor came in, the class had filled up to about 25 to 30 students.
As soon as the class started, I faced my first problem. Because of the size of the class and the tone of the instructor’s voice, it was hard for me to hear and understand what she was saying. Part of the problem was that I didn’t know any yoga terminology, but the main problem was that, because I didn’t know how to do any of the yoga poses, I was focused on trying to catch up with the other students.
If that wasn’t bad enough, I then encountered another problem. As I started to do the downward facing dog pose for the first time, my arms started shaking and I couldn’t stop them! I’d been going to gym regularly, so I was pretty confident that my body and muscles were toned and I was fit. That’s why I couldn’t believe it when my arms started to shake and my muscles could not support my body. It was excruciating! I was sweating and shaking so much that I thought I was going to fall down.
I didn’t know it at the time, but the downward facing dog is a “resting” pose that is done between other poses. We seemed to stay in that pose for a long, long time, although I may have been wrong and it may only have been minutes. But in my head I was screaming, “Help! My arms are shaking! I can’t support myself. Please change the pose – I can’t stand it!” While we were in this pose, the instructor walked around the class, adjusting the poses of various students. I could only catch snatches of what she was saying – “This pose is…, it will help you…” – but I was concentrating so much on trying to stay in the pose that I really wasn’t focusing on her words. All I could think of was “Please stop talking and let’s keep moving.”
Downward facing dog was the hardest pose for me but as the class continued, I found myself getting used to doing it and other poses. I stopped resisting my body and began to move into the poses, and as I did so, I was surprised by how deeply yoga affected me. By the end of the class, I was feeling pretty good about myself and more confident in my ability to continue. I thought my body would be really exhausted but it wasn’t. Instead, I felt totally at peace in my body as well as my soul. There is no way to explain how wonderful this feels until you experience it for yourself.
The whole experience of yoga lingered with me through to the next morning. I am usually not a morning person, but before my alarm even went off, I woke up feeling refreshed and alert. What was going on? Did yoga really do that to my body and soul?
If this is how my body and soul have reacted to just one class, I can’t wait to continue with my yoga practice!
[tags]first yoga experience, first yoga class, yoga for beginners[/tags]