Yoga has finally worked its way into my life. I had a very positive experience a couple weeks ago, but nothing compares to my class with Lisa this morning at gratitudeYOGA.
First, I just want to remind everyone that ClassPass is amazing. That's how I found Lisa - in fact, gratitudeYOGA was added while I was actively searching for a class, and it almost felt "meant to be." Since I'm committing to making this month ROCK, I decided to kick things off bright and early with a morning class.
I am NOT a morning person. The thought of waking up extra-early just to go workout and exhaust myself is almost laughable to me. But yoga isn't the same as running for an hour or making my muscles cry in a barre class. It's more about balance and flow, two things in which my life is sorely lacking. So I got up early, packed a change of clothes, and set off for adventure.
Bleh, noooooot a morning person. Yet.
The studio is primarily a dance studio, but the owner Lisa also teaches tons of yoga classes there. I LOVE this little lady! She greeted me with a huge smile and constantly went out of her way to make me feel at home and welcome. The studio offers lockers (they'll provide locks if you don't bring your own), showers, several studios, and a full stock of yoga mats/blocks/towels. They also have snacks and beverages for sale - and some of the most adorable children's dance clothes you've ever seen! Apparently they do a LOT of children's dance classes - so cute!
Since I'm only just beginning my yoga practice, I was a little nervous. I didn't even think to tell Lisa about injuries or limitations! The class had only four students, which was a nice bonus because I knew Lisa would be able to give everyone adequate attention. She calls the class Yoga Jam, because every class has a themed playlist. Today was "piano men" and it was perfect for a morning yoga class. Elton John, Billy Joel, Tony Bennet, Stevie Wonder... Soothing, gentle, classy, perfect. Combine the excellent musical accompaniment with Lisa's soft but strong voice guiding the class, and you have a morning nirvana cocktail to cure all that ails you.
When yoga goes FABULOUS!
What I loved most was that Lisa's directions were understandable even to a new yogi, and I think that's why today's class gave me that "aha" kind of moment that made regular yoga suddenly so appealing. While she did use the traditional name for each pose, she walked us through the movements and positioning very clearly, every time. I was easily able to follow the entire class - even if my body couldn't quite make it into each position! Highlight of the class: I think I officially hit crow's pose, even if it was only for a second or two. And I didn't just push and hope, I actually kinda almost held it under control! Lisa seemed surprised after class when I told her it was only my second yoga class (I'm not counting that one two years ago I left in tears halfway through), which gave me an unexpected burst of pride.
While on the mat, I spent a lot of my time thinking about how I am setting the tone for the rest of my day. Up early, working hard for myself, making new connections: it's a great way to start. I stepped into my office ready to take on any challenge, and pounded out a lot of important stuff before lunch. I feel good about myself and I'm much calmer than I usually am. Continued practice can only increase these exciting new feelings!
Honestly? I'd get myself out of bed early almost every day to take Lisa's class. Someday I'll make enough money to make it possible! For now, I'll definitely be using my three-class-per-studio max on Lisa's Yoga Jams at gratitudeYOGA!
Tell me about your "aha" moment with your yoga practice! What made you decide to start, or to advance your practice? Did a favorite instructor make it happen?