I first tried yoga nearly 20 years ago; I enjoyed it for a few months and then never did it again. At the time, it just wasn’t for me. It wasn’t until recently that I picked up a yoga mat again and decided to give yoga another try. East Idaho Moms had one of their Moms Night Out events at Yoga London in Ammon, ID in March. The class was for Candle Light Yoga, which I hadn’t heard of, but it sounded intriguing. Doing yoga with very little light somehow gave me less anxiety about trying something new and being in a social situation where I didn’t know many people.
Our instructor for the evening was Rebecca and I highly recommend taking this class with her, or any yoga class in general. She was so welcoming to everyone who entered the room that the atmosphere was calm and inviting. I chose a spot that was closer to Rebecca because I wear glasses and I wanted to make sure that I could see her once we began.
I was surprised throughout the class by several things. I hadn’t realized how long it had been since I truly stretched out my body and released all of the tension I had—it was liberating. It also made me realize how I have lost some of my flexibility. However, it did encourage me to continue stretching at home. Some of the poses were difficult for me but I just modified them to fit my body’s needs. Rebecca did amazing leading the class and encouraging us to go as far as we felt comfortable. She also gave gentle reminders for us to breathe. Oddly enough, I did have to be reminded to breathe. Between being focused on the poses, not falling over, and trying to clear my head, I kept forgetting to breathe!
I think the biggest surprise for me was how emotional I became at the end of the session. Rebecca was excellent at keeping in mind that she was with a room full of women and it was reflected by the way that she instructed the class. I, personally, need words of affirmation in my life, so it was a pleasant surprise to hear how motivating, uplifting, and empathetic Rebecca was. Throughout the class, she would encourage us to let our bodies relax while giving us encouragement for the amazing, strong women we are. By the end I was sweaty, I was tired, and my muscles were more stretched than they had been in years. We laid on our mats for a cool down and Rebecca continued her words of affirmation.
“You are enough. You are important. You matter. This is your time to release your stress, your worry, and everything that you carry. We all carry so much weight every day and right now it’s time to let it go. You are a beautiful and capable woman, there is nothing you can’t do. You’re tired and this is your time to rejuvenate yourself and your body. Be at peace with the woman, mother, wife that you are and know that you’re amazing.”
I had only known this woman for an hour and she had me in tears. A flow of tears that uncontrollably fell as my emotions became overwhelming for me. I think that it was the combination of feeling like I was in a safe place and the words of affirmation that made me emotional. I was so absorbed in letting go of the weight that I carried that it took me a minute to notice what was happening around me. I wasn’t the only one crying. In fact, it seemed like most of the class had the same response that I did and I found comfort in that. Like we had all just gone through something intense together and made it out on the other side. Every one of us in that room needed some type of healing that evening and, at that moment, we were able to find it.
The class was exactly what I needed that night. Being in a yoga class setting with other mamas, but in the dark, helped me to let go of any insecurities that I was feeling. It allowed me to free my mind and take in yoga. What I can attest to is that I walked away from Yoga London feeling refreshed, like I had shed a layer of skin. I was so exhausted after the class that I went home and almost immediately fell into one of the best nights of sleep.
It was definitely worth it to slumber out of my comfort zone and try something new. I am glad that I opened myself up to the experience and look forward to my next class.
In case you were on the fence about trying yoga out, I took the liberty of finding 7 benefits to adding yoga to your life:
- Relieves stress
- Reduces the risk of heart disease
- Clears the mind to focus
- Increases flexibility
- Improves sleep
- Increases lung capacity
- Increases muscle strength and endurance