I remember the first time I tried yoga… It was a videotape that we watched in the living room after pushing the couch and armchairs back. Bright blue backgrounds, white leotards and the mellowest vocal instruction I had ever heard. One hand and one foot on the ground with the other hand and foot attempting to point to the sky: “Sure thing… wait ’til I just go ahead and do that…” I thought.
Well, it was an introduction and it was MY introduction, and no, I might not have let go and swayed like a tree, but I sure did have a good time (thanks to the company as well!). I was more than a little tired when the tape finished and I was left thinking “How did they do that?” For some reason, that was not the last time I did yoga and I started to practise as many times as I could fit in during the week (when the VCR was free). I just felt better when I did yoga.
I remember the first time I went to a led yoga practice at a studio… I felt more than a little out of my element. I might not have known what was going on the entire time, I might not have moved into the postures with grace, but I did my best to follow along and did what I could. Yep, that first led class, it was a gooder all right… it was quite something to be in that environment with so many different people in one space, having interaction from a teacher during practice. That was not the last time I went to the studio…
I’m not sure I would have learned much more than the athletics of yoga if not led by teachers. The more I practised the physical postures and was led to create and follow breath within the posture practice, the more my interest and study developed. I feel grateful that I was able to become a part of the tradition of teacher passing on knowledge to student, and I hope to always learn and recognize who this guidance has come from. In teaching, I hope I can continue this tradition and share even just a little of my experience and what I have learned.
I think, within the right environment, with guidance and attention, yoga can be for anyone and benefit anyone, and can be lifelong practice. It is certainly not exclusively a physical practice, but that’s a pretty good place to start.