Tonight, I almost walked out of a yoga class before it even started.
I’ve practiced yoga for about 3-4 years, this summer I completed a 200 hr yoga teacher training. Yoga is not new to me, but this studio was.
I practiced at the studio in Detroit on and off for 3 years. I sort of knew what to expect from classes. How many people might be in attendance, the teacher’s style, how hot the room may be, and I had my “spot” (an area of the room that I preferred to practice).
It was a comfortable.
Even though I follow the new studio on social media, you never really know what the experience will be until you’re in it. I arrived about 30 minutes early to register, which is when I found out that the class I planned to attend is one of the more popular ones. “Oh, great!” I thought.
As I walked into the studio, there was another person meditating at the very front of the room. It was comforting that I wasn’t the first one in the room so I knew which way to face. Then came the decision about where to set my mat up; I chose close to a pillar for a little personal space, rolled out my mat, and attempted meditation. During meditation, I realized it was hot in the room with only two people in it.
I felt better after a few quiet moments, but then people started to come in for class. And they set up their mats really close together, which is when I realized that the room would be packed… and it was! This increased my anxiety around the whole class and I debated leaving.
Thoughts going through my head…
It’s already hot in here, how hot will it be when all of these people start to move and sweat
OMG they all know each other – they must know what they’re doing
I really haven’t eaten much today, what if I get dizzy?
I hope I don’t pass out, will my heart be ok?
If I leave now,would they notice?
I’m not sure if I’m actually allowed to park where I parked, maybe that could be my excuse?
OMG people keep coming in! Where will they all go?
Wait – should I have a towel?
Then I asked myself one simple question
My answer – I pass out and my Dad’s car gets towed.
So what would I do – well there are plenty of people in this room to help me, one of them could be a doctor who could wake me up. And if the car gets towed then I just figure that out.
Then class started
It started with a chant that, until tonight, I haven’t been exposed to and it seemed like everyone in the room knew it. I started to sweat anxiously because I was like OMG I AM A FRAUD!
I don’t know what they’re saying! Do I just move my mouth and act like I do? How long do we chant for? How do they know this?
I decided to just be silent and focus on my breath because it’s too late to get up to leave.
My first few asanas of the class I barely did. Every time I folded forward and blood rushed to my head I got more anxious but I kept telling myself that I was OVERTHINKING this and NO ONE IS PAYING ATTENTION TO YOU.
I quickly got into the rhythm of the class, focused on my breath and began to sweat like CRAZY!
No wonder people bring towels
The teacher’s message was exactly what I needed to hear today. I learned more about yoga than I did when I walked into the studio.
Somewhere along the way I forgot about all of the fears I had a few moments prior. I was humbled.
This experience reminded me why I do yoga. It’s a turning inward, a focus on the current asana, connecting to the breath, sweating, overcoming fear and energy.
All of those experiences on the mat carry on as I walk out of the door. Overcoming smaller fears whether it’s getting in the studio, staying in the studio, attempting new poses…whatever it may be fore you it builds to overcoming bigger fears – like quitting your job to travel!