Wow! What an amazing morning I just had! I can't believe that when I got home at 12:30 last night I contemplated skipping this event! I laid there in my bed and decided that I in fact wanted to set that alarm and I wanted to get up and be the kind of person I want to be. When the alarm went off at 5am, I didn't even fear for a second that I would turn it off and roll back over and go back to sleep. I felt like a little kid! I was so excited to get up and get on the road. I put on some baggy clothes that I wouldn't feel self conscious in, threw my hair up in a messy knot, grabbed my ticket... and almost forgot my yoga mat! It was rolled up in a corner of my room and I literally had to dust cobwebs off of it! Got my keys, and I was on the road! I decided to take the back roads so that I could see the beautiful sunrise, I quickly realized even with waking up at 5 I wasn't going to make it to the rocks on time for when those first little rays of light peek over the horizon to wake Colorado up. (My darling nephew always has the cutest greeting when he wakes us in the morning, he says, "Wake up, the sun's up!")
I decided to stop in Boulder and get a latte, I was greeting the morning after only 4 hours of sleep after all. :-) Even though I wasn't going too far, I'd forgotten how good it can feel to be on the road with nothing but your coffee, your mellow tunes, and the sunrise.
I arrived in Morrison at the beautiful Red Rocks Amphitheater with only about 20 minutes to spare! Luckily there was still enough room on the upper parking lot so I only had to climb a few sets of stairs! I quickly decided that I wanted to be in the very back row, and there was one spot left in it. The people around me said good morning. The sun was shining down below over Denver and everyone looked so relaxed waiting for the class to start.
Once the class started, I instantly had feelings that I might be in over my head. My arms were shaking so hard in that first downward dog. But I told myself that I was going to stick with it and do what I could do even if that meant improvising or focusing on my breathing or not holding the poses for as long as everyone else. I also started regretting being in the back row as directly behind the rail there were a lot of onlookers, people hiking through, taking pictures, and giving their running commentaries. I heard two men talking about how they would gladly be sex slaves. They got quite a few nasty glances from some yogis and eventually they moved on. I told myself that the onlookers didn't matter, I was here to do my thing and if people wanted to post a picture of me in some embarrassing pose or whatever then that is there business and I would never know anyway. Mostly I focused on how everyone around me was friendly and into their own practice and their own thoughts, and that gave me the encouragement to do the same.
I loved the way the teacher would say things like, "And if you couldn't do that pose a moment ago just the way you would like to, that's ok, let it go, be in this pose right now." It was a good reminder to be present and not to get up into the, "I'm not good at this, I'll never be able to do this" type of mentality and get into the, "I'm here, I showed up, I'm doing this, I'm being kind to myself" mentality. There was a moment a little over half way through the hour when we were all in upward facing dog where the teacher said, "Give gratitude to all those around you and to all those people and circumstances in your life that brought you to this moment right now". I swear I could feel the gratitude just emanating off of everyone. I sent gratitude to people I love who've never hurt me. My mind just felt so peaceful and for the first time in a long time I sent gratitude and love to my dad, and to Dave (my ex-husband), and just the power of stretching into this pose and feeling how good it felt to send love to the people who I've let hurt me the most and who I carry the most baggage around was so overwhelming! Tears instantly began swelling in my eyes, I realized the extreme hurt I carry around with me and I felt so much love for myself, and compassion, and forgiveness. Luckily, everyone was so into their own thoughts and breaths and poses that no one noticed and I could just easily grab my little hand towel and wipe away my tears. It just felt so good to let go!
When the class ended, I felt so peaceful. I took my time driving home, I didn't feel any road rage, I opened the windows and felt the fresh morning August air! I am so incredibly grateful for this experience and definitely want to work to learn how to cultivate these kind of feelings in my life daily!
Namaste my friends!