Starting Yoga From Scratch

Last night, I graciously observed an Iyengar yoga class for brand new beginners.  I watched silently while the teacher demonstrated building blocks of various yoga poses.  Studying the students’ response to her instructions, I could see the subtle responses in each student as she repeated instructions in different ways.  I enjoy the chance to examine how people respond to each instruction.  I’m told really great teachers communicate to hundreds of students at a time.  I can barely get one person to straighten their arms.  Clearly there’s an art to it.

I was especially grateful to witness a class full of people trying something new.  (Doing things for the first time is sort of my whole M.O. these days.)  With so many different avenues leading to yoga, it’s inevitable you’ll meet positive people with interesting stories in every class.  I’ve made lasting friends over the course of many classes and .  Each individual’s enthusiasm for yoga waxes and wanes with the normal fluctuations of life, but the community is reliably solid.  It’s just one aspect of yoga that keeps me sane while we all journey in the same general direction.

Photo courtesy of Jamie Harmon @ Amurica
Photo courtesy of Jamie Harmon @ Amurica

I’m comforted when I see the same eagerness to learn in the people around me.  Yoga isn’t for everyone – yet it’s open to anyone.  It’s not just the poses that ease my stress, I am often comforted just spending time around like-minded people.  It’s all about a positive attitude and willingness to try.  Sometimes you stumble into something and it helps in ways that are completely unexpected.  More often, we start something with a specific purpose and find meaning in the strangest of places.  There are no false promises in yoga and no shortcuts on the path to enlightenment.  See everyone in 2015!

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