Every day, I meet new students who have never practiced yoga before. More often than not, they are slightly scared; they have a fear of not knowing, not being good enough, a pre-determined shame of not being able to complete the series before they even begin. “I’m not flexible. I’m really out of shape. I have never felt this badly about my body before.” Every time I hear this, I feel a little sliver of heartbreak for them and then push that away and get the strength going for the both of us. I lead them to the doors of the hot room and leave them with the small but mighty words of encouragement “You can do it. I know you can. Have fun.”
Let me take you back. Many journeys begin in this way, and mine was very much the same. I came to Moksha Yoga Aurora to try something new. To get outside of my comfort zone and most importantly to me at that time: to lose weight. That was my primary goal in life. Must. Lose. Weight. 6 years later, I am still here, still haven’t lost weight, but I’ve gained so much more.
I pumped myself up to come take my first hot yoga class by convincing myself this was a good thing. You need to go. You need to try. Make the commitment, Kathryn. I suffer from anxiety like many people, so I have many conversations with myself about things like this. The need to “try”. To continue. I walked in to Moksha Yoga Aurora and took my first class with none other than Belinda Degano. I moved through the class for the first time with a very foreign peace of mind. There were times where I had no idea what was happening, what were these words? What language is that? Wait, why am I at the front of the room, they told me to go towards the back! Ah, I already messed this yoga thing up. Then, slowly but surely, all of ‘that’ started to melt away. I felt like I had accomplished something much more emotional vs. physical in that room. It was wonderful. So I came back. Again and again.
I flew under the radar at the studio, coming mainly to the 8:30 pm Moksha 60 class after long and stressful days in my former life as a Media Strategist. Moksha was my sanctuary. Just for me. No one could bother me here. Everyone was friendly. The space was comforting to me. I found this crazy deep appreciation for people who didn’t even know me. For Lisa’s ability to be brutally honest and laugh about it, that hearty, pure laughter that is contagious. For Paria’s honey-like voice, “Om, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.” For Anna’s sugary sweetness, for Belinda’s calming strength and power, for Amanda’s words of wisdom, for Sara’s dreamy savasanas, and Jess’ straight up humor. Each teacher during that time brought something new to my life. They were a meaningful part of the journey. More names can be added to that journey now in 2016, each teacher leaving tiny footprints on my heart in ways they will never know. Yoga is more than just postures. It has and continues to strip away the layers of my being, leaving me available and raw. Leaving me vulnerable, but able to grow from that place of vulnerability. Every day I wake up and commit. Some days are harder than others for sure. Yoga allows me to move forward. We are all searching for things, some we find and some we never do. But holding on to spaces that are safe, that are beautiful, is something to be noticed and recognized. This is why we practice. This is why I keep coming back.
Thank you to Belinda. Thank you to all my teachers, my friends, and my mentors for allowing me to be part of something so meaningful.
Start YOUR journey today!