I’m a newbie. I celebrate my one-month anniversary with yoga on the 20th and look forward to many more to come. When I told a friend I’d started taking yoga classes, she was surprised I hadn’t been practicing it all along; that it seemed like my kind of thing. Turns out, she was right. Yoga, where have you been all my life?
I had decided to start out my new exercise regimen “right,” with the Absolute Beginner Yoga workshop with Maggie Anderson. I had picked Semperviva because they had studios close to home, but as soon as I stepped in, I stayed for way better reasons than this beat the gym; a place I’d always felt I didn’t quite belong.
That first class followed me home. The people who worked there were amazing, I didn’t feel less than the other people around me in class, and the aura was unexplainably… warm. But despite my efforts to start out right, I was still unprepared. I went in looking for the something to replace the gym, but what I’ve found goes far beyond that. I had hazy knowledge of where the practice of yoga stems from—to prepare the body for meditation—but I hadn’t gone in thinking I was after a spiritual experience. Maybe some balance in my life, yes.
Going home to Google words like “Asana” and “Pranayama” I was lead from one webpage to another of new discoveries; much like flowing through a Vinyasa in class. Through my new routine of yoga classes—one I’ve stuck to more rigidly than any physical activity in my life, ever—and continued research I’ve found that the practice goes beyond the physical to include the mind and spirit for a total body workout that is both cleansing and rejuvenating.
During one recent class the teacher elicited a few chuckles—as best we could in our current pose—with the idea that all the work we do in class is just the “warm-up” for my favourite part of class: Shavasana. For someone who would rather curl up with her laptop than do physical exercise, how could I not fall in love with a practice whose aim is focused relaxation? It de-clutters me for what I go home to do: write. I am an artist and I am emotional. The two tend to go hand-in-hand it seems, sometimes to disastrous effect, and I’ve discovered yoga is my path to keep even-keeled so that I can focus on the things that matter with fresh perspective.