I never liked exercising at first. I disliked running, I was slow. I never liked sports or pushing myself physically. I was bad at it and often felt self-conscious when moving my body. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has felt a lingering undertone of anxiety in the background of their days. I was curious about yoga, but I didn’t have the confidence to try it on my own. I heard that yoga was a way to relax. When a friend asked me to join her in a yoga class one day, I was feeling adventurous and decided to give it a try.
Since I was invited last minute, I was wearing jeans. I was also not flexible in any sense of the word, so I felt out of place because I knew we would be stretching. Once I gathered myself in a little corner, the instructor’s calm demeanor invited my attention. I settled in and began mirroring the movements of the instructor as the class began.
At first, I wanted to get it all right. I wanted to seem like I knew what I was doing. As the class went on, my senses began to pull inward. I was less focused on my appearance, and I began to experience how my body felt. It was wild.
One of the last poses we did was child’s pose. I felt at home in that space. I remember the instructor cuing us: “let any anxiety you feel fall into the ground below.” Something in that cue clicked for me and I could feel the underlying stress begin to fade.
It was stress that I didn’t even know existed, and it was gone somehow. For the first time in my life, I did not feel self-conscious about my body, even if it was for a few minutes. I felt I was in control, I felt I had the space to be myself for the duration of that yoga class. I felt as if I were on cloud nine as I gave myself permission to truly relax and not worry anymore. I wanted this feeling to last.
So, what is it like to try yoga for the first time?
I can’t guarantee that anything mystical or life-changing will happen in your first yoga class. But I will say, if you give it an honest try with an open mind, you might be surprised with what is possible out there for you to experience!