After about five months or so of not being able to attend a single yoga class for various reasons, Monday morning, I made the decision that this was the week that I would give it a try. I’d been back at the gym running for a few weeks, and I had gotten the clearance that yoga was okay again, so I figured why not…the most that it could do was hurt. For weeks I had been afraid that it would hurt me, but when I finally made the decision to go back, I was no longer afraid. I had a plan: leave work for Brooklyn, arrive at Billy’s, throw on my yoga gear and run to class. So, as I was on the F train, fuming as it crawled slowly (very slowly) to my destination, all I could think about was how angry I would be if I was late or missed the class because of the train.
Outside of social gatherings, of which I am never on time, I hate being late. I’d rather either be early or not show up at all. I blame my dad for this, although his penchant for being early (this includes social engagements) borderlines on insanity. Seriously. Last year, my dad and I attended a cousin’s christening party. The invitation had been sent to my dad’s so I had no idea what time it was supposed to start, and we got there an hour early. One hour. We were the first ones in attendance; not even my cousin who was hosting the party had arrived yet. We ended up sitting in the car – my dad stepping out multiple times to smoke – while we waited, because although it was spring, it was pretty cold out. Another time, we had to attend a Saturday morning wedding – I think it started around eleven – and despite the fact that the church was right near my dad’s, and he’s only twenty minutes away from me, he insisted on picking me up at eight. Eight in the morning. This resulted in my rushing to get ready and accidentally dropping my curling iron, burning my cheek. I spent the entire day trying to hide the burn mark (which was painful) with a piece of my hair, and weeks after doing the same. Yes, I hate being late, but there is such a thing as being too early. Anyway, back to yoga.
Although the train didn’t leave me with much leeway in terms of time – I had to speed walk home and then speed walk to the yoga studio – I made it with a few minutes to spare and, as it turned out, the class before mine ran a little late. I had expected the room to be full with barely any breathing space, as I had been accustomed to, but there was barely anyone there: maybe about eight including myself. I took a spot by the wall with the windows and went to speak to the instructor, informing her about my situation and that it was my first day back, and then the class started.
I have to admit, no matter how much yoga relaxes me, because it does, I always have trouble clearing my mind. There’s usually a few times when I feel my thoughts wander beyond the walls of the class – thinking about the day’s past events and tasks that have yet to be completed – and I have to make conscious efforts to bring my focus back. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has struggled with this. It’s easy to get swept up in your life and events that surround you; it’s difficult to force yourself to take a step back and leave it all alone for an hour. After class last night, as I was walking home, I realized that that hadn’t happened to me this time, that I had stayed focused for the whole class. I smiled to myself. Perhaps it was because I hadn’t taken a class in a while, or maybe, a new-found peace within myself that hadn’t been there months before. Whatever it was, it left me with a good feeling. There were a few things that I could not do, but for the most part, I was good. And although today I can barely walk – the result of two days of running before yesterday’s yoga – I learned that I can in fact take yoga classes again. 🙂