Confession: My first yoga class was a disaster

4 min read

I remember my first yoga class. It was held in a small room at a local YMCA. The teacher was pretty buff. She looked like Xena the Warrior Princess, except with braided hair.

I was the only one there. I could barely get my hands past my knees when doing a Forward Fold. The teacher told us to inhale deeply and exhale slowly. This didn’t occur. I was too busy to breathe.

I wouldn’t say I liked it. It wasn’t very pleasant. But I went back again the following week. The next week. The next week.

Why? Why? I am the most clumsy man on earth. Once, I walked into a stop sign face first. Yeah… it isn’t good.

I hated my first yoga class.

It might sound wild, but in the past, I’ve done scary or unpleasant stuff when I thought it would benefit me. I have social anxiety. I took a drama class in high school to try and “get over” my social anxiety. It worked. It’s not a problem for me to act ridiculously in front of strangers (I’ve even had to perform on stage without pants on), but the idea of delivering a speech is terrifying.

I believe in conscious evolutionary change. It means you have to accept your flaws and do something about them in order to become a more positive person. It took me several months to tolerate Yoga and years to fall in love with it. But I liked the effects it had on my physical body, so I kept on doing it.

Earning “Experience points” for Yoga

Tree Pose was my arch-nemesis. I could not stand on one leg for more than a few seconds. Zen yoga teachers say this is a sign that you need to balance your chakras. I am too skeptical for that. I believe it was more due to my lazy childhood.

My childhood diet consisted of Taco Bell and Mountain Dew. Video games and Total Request Live with Carson Daly were my favorite pastimes. (I was among the odd kids who listened to Korn)

Have you played Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts? You probably know that video game characters gain experience points (XP) when they defeat the bad guys. I had zero balance, coordination, flexibility, or any other fitness aspect.

Since then, my XP has increased. I can hold Tree Pose indefinitely. I can reach my feet in a forward fold. Stop signs haven’t attacked me since. It was a struggle at first, and I eventually fell in love with it. I became a yoga teacher last summer.

You Can Always Find Someone to Relate

This is because I understand how you feel when you are nervous and afraid in your first (or multiple) yoga classes. Can you relate to this?

There is always someone who can. It’s scary to try something new for the very first time. But if you sign up for your first yoga or theater class or whatever you are afraid of, you may end up feeling better. I have learned a lot about Yoga, and I would like to share it with you.

Yoga taught me how to be in the moment. I have taken up “Embracing Today” for a good reason. When your body and mind are in different places, you become unconscious. It used to be my constant state. This led to frustration, regret, and unhappiness. You know the feeling.

In the coming months, I will share with you my successes and failures in being mindful. You can expect many stories, including about how I fell in love with Yoga. I hope my stories provide you with some tips, inspiration, or, at the very minimum, a good belly laugh. Next time, see you!

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