I watch you cautiously enter the studio – a place that at first glance can seem so intimidating, I know. You’re not sure what to expect or if you wore the right thing, or if you’ll even be able to make it through the hour you’ve set aside for you. I can see you are nervous, almost timid.
You’re greeted with warm smiles from the volunteers and instructors gathered hospitably around the front desk, waiting to help you sign up for a class, answer your questions, show you where the facilities and different tempered rooms are. These friendly faces put some of your fears to rest, at least for the moment. You can feel the shift of energy in the air as more students flow into the studio.
I keep observing you from across the airy, open, sunny front room. I see your shoulders relax down your back slightly, ease entering your eyes and recognition of something almost home-like about this place flashes in them. We catch each other’s gaze and share a small, but sincere smile.
You wander down the hall into the change room, where I am sure you’re talking yourself into class. Not sure what to expect, not sure if you’ll like it, not sure if it’s for you. Scared of the heat, the poses, the unknown.
I know this feeling all too well. I think every new yogi does.
What I want to tell you is that what you will find in the heated yoga studio upstairs is going to surprise you, maybe even scare you a little.
I want to tell you of the life-altering feeling you are about experience, the wash of emotion, the shift in perspective, the gains in confidence, compassion and strength you will feel.
I want to burst at you with stories and antidotes of feeling yourself truly shut your brain off for the first time and the exhilarating calm that comes with that freedom.
I want to tell you, that if you just let it, this practice, those poses, this studio, will change your whole life and lift up your soul in ways you didn’t think were possible.
I want to tell you that it will only take a moment for you to fall so deeply in love with your practice and you’ll know exactly when it happens.
I want to tell you that it is okay to let go, especially here, and sometimes that very act might even come out as laughter or tears in class – and that’s okay.
I want to share with you that the people that live, work and love here will become a second family to you, this studio a second home, if you let it, if you welcome it with open arms.
I want to calm your fears with tales of the incredible lives that have been changed by this bit of magic you’ve found, allowed into your life.
I want to warn you that you are about to challenge your ego, but it will be the best thing you ever do for your soul.
I want to tell you that you’re going to find out things about yourself that you didn’t know existed, had forgotten once were, and feel more you than you ever have in that 60, or 75 minutes of pure bliss.
I want to tell you about the calm in your soul that will come when you become more aware and more present, at first in class, and then soon every area of your life.
I want to tell you that you will feel more in control and out of your mind in the most calming way, at the same time, in that room.
I want to tell you that when you adopt the true practice of yoga in areas of your life outside of the studio will be when you will truly understand what you’ve found.
I want to tell you to breathe your way through class and that you’ll soon realize that it’s necessary to breathe through life in the same way.
I want to tell you so many things about what you’ve started by stepping onto your mat for the very first time.
But I don’t.
Instead I share one more silent smile with you as we both enter the room. I watch you find your place on your mat, sprawl out on the floor, fidgeting a bit as you start to relax. As I settle onto my mat myself, I say a little prayer for your practice and mine today, sending a little love, light and energy your way.
I can’t wait for the journey that lies ahead of you, the breakthroughs and breakdowns, the freedom from what is resting on your shoulders. I am so excited for you and your practice to unfold and the blessings it will so abundantly bring.
Welcome, new Yogi.