My first experience with yoga was a community college class in the evening when I was young. I remember such a heavy sense of sleepiness every time I left class, I could barely drive home. No thanks, this gift was not yet for me.
Later in life, in Denver, I walked into a Core Power Yoga class at the Highlands. The foyer was awkwardly small, but the dim, mirrored room was warm and inviting. Music played gently, luring me into a rare soft space. There was time at the beginning of the class to set our intention–our prayer; that moment on my mat became a sanctuary. Class was about breath, but there was also sweat. Fingers of truth threaded throughout class reached into my soul, opening tight places and sealing broken places. I left, soaring. It was a gift.
Last week, I spent an evening hour in a C2 class at LoHi. After a whirlwind month of back to school meetings, demands, responsibilities new and old; the one-year anniversary of my Mom’s death and the accompanying emotional toil; the overwhelming demands of taking a certain amount of assigned yoga classes to get my certificate; concerns for my sister’s health; well, after all that, I was glad to just give myself, well, a gift. The gift of time, the gift of stillness, the gift of story-revision, the gift of self-care, the gift of breath–beautiful, bountiful, blissful, blessed breath.
And when I teach yoga, I am honored to give those gifts. It is a heart-joy and soul-food ministry of creating the space for people to find the gifts they need, the asana to remember and remain in breath, the cues to connect with what matters most, the touch of care and prayerful intention, the music to cradle their spirits, the words to touch something beyond that which is seen, and the language to create a new–and better–story.