Almost 3 years ago, I laid on a bench/sidewalk at the very top of Red Rocks Amphitheater. I was in this "pose" called savasana... which really just felt like laying down. And I finally had a minute to think about this thing I had just done. I had went to my very first yoga class. At Red Rocks. Alone. With a couple thousand other people. The sky was blue, and tears were on my cheeks mixed with sweat.
I had always known I would love yoga. But I was scared to do it. I wasn't what I thought a person who does yoga looks like. I was overweight. I didn't own anything made by lululemon.
But as I laid there I didn't think about any of those thoughts. All I thought was, so this is what all the rage is about? I was flooded with gratitude and compassion towards my self. The class ended and as I rolled up my mat a couple of people told me, "good job, keep it up!" While this could be taken as annoying, I found it insanely comforting and motivating. Here I had placed myself strategically in the last row, hoping to go unnoticed. Unseen. I had watched them, every move, every placement of a hand or a foot. I had no idea what the instructor was saying, it was like another language to me. So I was watching them, but these people they were seeing me. And I hadn't realized how good it felt to be seen.
That day I drove out of Morrison feeling alive. I blasted the radio. I rolled the windows down. I wanted that feeling to never leave me. An acceptance of what I'd been through and a glimpse that things could be different. I told everyone about this class. I could not stop talking about it. It didn't take long for a friend to ask me, "So why don't you check out a studio?"
It took me a couple of months to get up the gumption to go into the studio across the street from my work, but I finally did and I got a free week. Oh my body was sore. So sore, I thought, maybe without the magic of Red Rocks, maybe it wasn't worth it. So I didn't sign up. And then the holidays rolled around. New Year's. Resolutions. And... another free week at the studio showed up in my inbox.
So I went.
And eventually... I signed up.
A couple of months into going to the studio, the studio manager, Joy, asked me when I was going to come to one of her classes. We got to chatting and I told her the first time that I had done yoga was the last summer at Red Rocks.
And then we figure out that she had taught the one I went to!
So I had to go to her class. And for awhile there I was pretty regular on Tuesday nights at 6:45. I had so many juicy little morsels of teachings going on.
One time in runners lunge, she gently massaged my shoulders and she said to the class, "Your mat can be a fertile place." And I almost weeped right there.
Over time, my teacher even became my friend. We've shared stories of ourselves, she came to my essay reading at Tattered Cover. We've seen David Sedaris together, ate tacos, she's helped me branch out into another class that kicks my butt every time. She's introduced me to her family, and she's made me feel a part of a community. But I'm not special. She's like that with everyone, and I don't know what my life in Boulder would be like had I never went to her class.
So, this morning, almost three years later from that first Red Rocks class.... my alarm goes off at 4am, and I hop right out of bed. I'm gonna catch that sunrise even if it is misty and rainy out. I pull into the parking lot before the other hundreds, thousands of souls. I text her. She's teaching the class again today. She tells me to come down to the stage. She's in the middle of a private moment, but calls me over, introduces me to everyone. Hugs.
I tag her brother, her lovely sister in law, some of the other yoga teachers that I adore and tell them that I'm down front and would love to practice with them. More hugs. More introductions.
We flow through her class. I know the prompts. I know the poses. I'm not always good at them, but I've come a long way.
Joy says things through class, things like, "and through the tension, open your heart."
And I realize, that's what I've been learning to do. For 3 years.
And she says, "we are so much stronger together than we are apart". And I look around me, at this community I belong to now.
And she talked of how we are "creating a shift." And to give "gratitude that you are creating a life you want and deserve."
And I think about that first time when I had gratitude for where I'd been and how now I could feel gratitude for where I'm going.
And in savasana... I don't think about anything this time. I just listen to the words of the song,
"Love is a temple. Love the higher law...
One Life, you got to do what you should."
And I feel whole.
Namaste Joy! Great job today friend! <3