Yoga and I met when I was in my 40’s and it didn’t go well.
I was fairly fit and accustomed to exercise. Active in my job, I also biked and enjoyed regular aerobic dance classes. Looking for something new and different, I registered for a series of yoga classes.
Classes were described as suitable for all levels of experience. I knew that yoga was related to peace and relaxation, flexibility and strength. That sounded appealing. Yoga featured challenging poses I could learn. This was going to be great!
At the first class, I didn’t let the instructor know I was new and she didn’t ask. The class started, the instructor called out poses and I tried to emulate her, and those around me. Then we moved on to another pose that I didn’t know how to do.
There was no explanation of poses, no mention of body alignment, breathing or working within our own abilities. The other class members seemed to be experienced in practicing yoga.
For me, the class was awkward, uncomfortable and demoralizing. After two classes, my body felt stiff and sore. I couldn’t seem to get into any of the poses and it all felt wrong.
I reasoned that yoga was not for me. I wasn’t flexible enough to do the poses, and there was nothing relaxing going on.
I quit the class, and was relieved to get back to aerobic dance, sure I was leaving yoga behind forever.
But yoga had other plans for me.