“Yoga” they said

by | Mar 4, 2020 | spiritual growth

Not being a natural athlete

Life is full of milestones; some we encourage and welcome with open arms, and others, more fearful, leap out and surprise us like muggers in the night. So hence, my dilemma. Somehow, the big 60 had snuck up on me while I was not paying attention. Upon reflection of my time on planet earth, I was reasonably content with my present life … almost. For many years I’d struggled with keeping fit. Not being a natural athlete, coupled with my aversion to sweating, hampered my search for the perfect regime. After attempting a wide variety of physical activities that severely depleted both my confidence and bank balance, I found the only exercise I actually enjoyed was walking in nature. Yet, this was not always practical and left me partially unfulfilled.

Frustrated, I explained my conundrum to my friends, who all agreed on the answer. ‘Try yoga,’ they said. ‘Perfect for someone your age.’ I immediately listed five reasons why it wasn’t for me: you needed balance, coordination, strength, focus and agility—all the qualities that had cruelly bypassed my DNA. After some convincing, I gingerly agreed and enrolled myself and a friend in a local yoga class.

Fell on my friend in a fit of giggles

So, with my new, shiny yoga mat rolled under my arm and trusty friend at my side, I stood in a very long queue at the church hall. Secretly hoping I’d gotten the dates mixed up and was wrongly waiting in line for an intermediate class, I checked the sign at the door. Alas, it stubbornly proclaimed, Beginners Yoga in bold print, and we were herded into a room where we hustled to find our little piece of temporary real estate. The room was stifling and the 50 odd bodies squeezed into it didn’t help the heat. Maybe I was the midst of a delirium and in reality the sign had read, Hot Beginners Yoga. Given my aversion to sweating, this was not a good start and things went on a steady decline after that. Next, a very stern, middle-aged woman, and her four, equally serious assistants, guided us through basic yoga moves that, to me, defied gravity and the normal ability of the human anatomy. The crunch came when I tried to do the Tree Pose and unceremoniously lost balance and fell on top of my friend in a fit of giggles. Needless to say, this was met with disapproving glances from my instructor and her yoginis, and that was that, end of story—or so I thought!

The Universe luckily stepped in and I later discovered the Thursday morning yoga class at I Am Spirit where I was met with open arms, warm hearts, non-judgment, and so much more. There, under the canopy of a rotunda surrounded by nature and a cooling breeze, Chris, the skilled instructor, guided me at my own pace on a gentle journey of self-discovery of mind, body and spirit. Within this group, where her trusty sidekick, Kim, often has us in fits of laughter, I have found a safe space, full of kindred spirits only too happy to chat afterwards over a well-earned cuppa. Here, I am accepted—faulty DNA and all!

Yoga, I am pleased to say, is now not just an exercise, it is a way of life that has me never wanting for more.

Tina Cardillo

https://www.tinacardillo.com/

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