Okay readers, get your minds out of the gutter. I’m talking yoga here! On Monday evening I left my nice warm house, nice warm dog, nice warm husband (nah, he was out of town) and braved the dark and cold to go to my very first yoga class. Yeah, you are getting the drift — I didn’t want to go out and was having second thoughts about trying something new.
Fellow blogger Robin Towle-Fesco has a good friend who teaches at Be.Yoga in Avon, CT. Robin invited the Runitlikeamom.com bloggers to join her in a drop-in session with her friend and yogi, Rebecca Totti.
As I drove back and forth on Route 44, cursing Siri and google directions, I finally found the (not so obvious) driveway to the parking lot for Be.Yoga. I was unwilling, stressed out and cranky — just the way you want to show up for your intro to yoga, right?
The Be.Yoga center has a foyer with coat hooks and a place where shoes are taken off and left. I walked into a large, warm, dimly lit room where there were a handful of participants already on their mats. Some were stretching, some were sitting, some were quietly chatting. I spotted Robin and Anna my fellow bloggers, and Robin introduced us to our teacher, Rebecca. Rebecca immediately made me feel welcome and asked if I had done yoga before. I had heard her asking others and knew she was gauging the level of expertise for the drop-in crowd. I also knew I would be expected to sign a waiver, so was not surprised when offered the clipboard and pen. I found the waiver clear-cut so I signed it and headed back to the main room where additional women had joined the group. I was told to grab a bolster, brick, and blanket and helpful folks pointed to what they were and where they were housed.
I sat on my mat, feeling anxious about not knowing anything about what we were about to do.
Rebecca began the session just a few minutes later. She informed the group there was an invited group of runners (Runitlikeamom-oh my God, me – please don’t look at me) and the focus of the class would be our hip flexors. Somehow she conveyed there would be a natural progression of immersion in activity, building to the focal point, followed by a return journey to rest.
Then it began. As soft, soothing music wafted around the room, Rebecca asked us to close our eyes and take a deep breath through our nose — while describing a visualization about the breath we were taking — and exhaling. I’m not going to give away her secrets here, but in just that simple breath my stress and anxiety vanished. I knew just by that introduction I was in a safe place with guidance about exactly what to do each step of the way. Rebecca gave wonderful insights and tips throughout the hour — for those who were more — or less — experienced there were easier and more challenging ways to carry out each exercise. All communicated with a lovely, soft (but audible), reassuring and mellifluous voice.
At one point, I thought, “gee, I hope we are getting near the end because my arms aren’t used to this” and what seemed like just a few minutes later, I thought, “did she say we are almost finished? I can’t believe an hour is almost up!” And, for those of you who will be newbies too, absolutely NO ONE looked at “how I was doing.” They were all inside their own experience.
It was indeed a transformative hour. Credit to the setting and the instructor, and perhaps, more divinely, the discipline. Truly one of the fastest passing — and most enjoyable — hours I have ever spent.
I’ll be back next week and suggest you give it a try yourself. You won’t regret it!
I want to take this opportunity to give a shout out to my husband’s cousin Mary Kate Fitzpatrick Murray — a yoga teacher headquartered in Maine — who has been for years after me (and many others) to try yoga. She’s an inspiration to me.
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