As a former varsity basketball player and someone who excelled at almost every instrument of sport, this slow-paced-stretching-around was not something I was going to entertain, never mind survive (insert yawn).
As a writer I am often pitched all kinds of things to write about and this turned out to be one of them. “So, we need someone to write a firsthand account about trying yoga for the first time,” my editor at that time shared with me, in what I now look back on to be a pleading if not desperate tone. My response? “Who are you going to pin that on?” “You,” he answered.
I was freelancing for the local paper and didn’t like to say no and so I said yes, already thinking of the easiest and quickest way to get this done and to spend just enough time for an authentic story.
That story turned into a four-part series that snuck, ever so slowly, into my personal life. Suddenly I needed yoga. I looked forward to class and finding a way to calm the hell down. This Type A was meeting her match weekly, sometimes twice a week and loving it. The quest for challenging poses evolved into a goal to learn to meditate and to breathe. To breathe in a way I don’t think I ever really had. My early life in a beyond dysfunctional home left me with permanent rapid breathing patterns that needed calming.
The benefits were there. Increased flexibility, disappearing back pain, feelings of empowerment and accomplishment and calmness were benefits that I knew I couldn’t live without.
Those that know me well were not surprised when I started classes to learn to teach, eventually choosing to specialize in children, unique learners and seniors. Before I knew it, I was teaching and forming my own mobile yoga business. It was beyond rewarding and I taught for 6 years until I felt it was time to sell the business and go back to writing for a living.
I did go back to writing and working in communications but I missed yoga. I missed having my own regular practice and I missed how teaching made me feel. Most of all, I missed my students.
I’m teaching again. I volunteer at a retirement residence that used to be a paying client. This week I had a record 19 students in my class listening to “new age” music and stretching from the comfort of their chairs. They are always so thankful for class and work so hard. I don’t think they realize how much they are helping me.
*Lo is an extraordinary sweetheart. Not only does she inspire me on a daily basis with her positive energy and Facebook posts, I’m humbled to call her a digital friend. I hope you adore this semi-regular column, Yogi in the City.