I've started a new journey. I haven't been feeling like myself lately, but it's hard because I'm not totally sure I know exactly who "myself" actually is anymore. I'm trying to figure everything out, and I decided that my first step would be personal growth in the form of downward facing dog and child's pose.
I've chosen a small yoga studio, tucked away in a neighborhood near to my home. I park my car, and grab the yoga mat my friend let me borrow. It's bright blue, with an LA Dodger's logo on it. Suddenly I'm self conscious, hoping nobody will notice the logo and ask me something sports related, or talk to me at all. As I walk into the building, I tug at my shirt, just now noticing how tight these leggings are and how little the spandex covering my thighs leaves to the imagination. I'm too vulnerable already. This was a mistake.
I'm greeted by a woman at the front desk, she's cheerful and friendly, showing me where to go and where to store my belongings during class. I've ambitiously signed up for a deep stretching class. I've committed the next 75 minutes of my life to my own self improvement. It's daunting, I take a breath and swallow the air, pushing it into the pit of my stomach.
I'm quiet, because everyone else is. They are mindful, focused, and so... zen. There's a sense of community, and it scares me. I avoid eye contact and quietly begin rolling my mat out on the floor. It's dark in here, and it smells like people. Not a bad smell, just a mixture of rubber mats, hot breath and sweat.
As I unroll the mat, the Dodger's logo appears. I quickly cover it with one of blankets that the studio provides, along with other props like straps and blocks for support. I'm doing my best to stop anyone from knowing anything about me right now, and I'm afraid the familiar logo will provide an opening for conversation. I'm the outsider here, and I don't feel comfortable letting anyone get to know me yet. I sit on the mat, legs folded over one another, already reminding me of my own inflexibility. I take a deep breath and observe my surroundings.
The woman next me to has a buzzed hair cut, and the confidence to match it. I bet she can touch her toes and bend her body into a pretzel. I think I'm a little jealous of her. I notice her straight back and even shoulders, I follow her lead and I sit up a little straighter.Read More