The first time I did yoga, I felt extremely awkward and uncomfortable in my own body and constantly nervous someone would walk into the room and see what I was attempting.
Yet, I was determined to do 30 days of yoga as a way to move my body everyday, ground myself in the present, practice gratitude, and release years of anger from hurt and pain.
I felt profoundly uncomfortable in this endeavor and only did yoga when my roommates were not home or would go into the extra room in our basement if they were. When I would emerge from the basement with my yoga mat and computer in hand, my roommates would greet me with a “Woah, Yoga!” or “She’s a Yogi!” I would respond with my hands pressed together and a simple “Namaste” before we burst into laughter.
They laughed because I am hilarious and I laughed because I had no idea what I am doing with this yoga thing.
It was not until day six or seven I started experiencing a shift in myself, both physically and mentally. I found myself slowly becoming stronger, able to firmly hold positions longer without shaking like I had just had seven chocolate covered espresso beans. I found myself slowly becoming more flexible, able to move from position to position easier and attempt the harder versions of the practice. In my day to day, I found myself less irritable with little occurrences and able to be patient with others more naturally. Keep in mind, I was only on day six and was not a completely new person, but I saw shifts in myself that headed in the direction I wanted to go.
I had many ups and downs during these 30 days, more than I had anticipated, yet I found myself continuously grateful I had a place to return to every day. A place was set aside for me to be wholly present and ground myself in the present. A place to move my body and stretch myself (literally and figuratively) each day.
Yoga gave me a space where I could connect with who I am at my core without the noise of daily tasks and society’s expectations. It provided me the space to release anger and heartache from my past without taking it out on others. This is a space for me to be grateful for the things that are presently in my view without getting stuck in the past and what I cannot change or the unknown of what the future holds. I found immense relief and a knowing that I had a place where I belonged even when I felt like I did not.
In these 30 days, I was in no way a yoga expert and still struggled with most positions, but I realized the importance of carving out a space for me to release, ground, and be grateful. And create a place to strengthen and to stretch. I experienced how continuously choosing to return to this space created a greater sense of wholeness.
"Yoga is really the art of waking up." -Adriene Mishler