7/13/15

Reading On My Mat - My Yoga Journey

Last week, I shared a post outlining that things are going to be changing a bit on the blog, as I expand from just posting about reading and start talking about my other passions!

I've been itching to write about yoga for quite some time, and thought that I'd begin where it all began -- many, many years ago.

I took my first yoga class when I still lived in Victoria.  It was yoga/pilates fusion class and, while I enjoyed it, I remember feeling a bit frustrated when the instructor called out "Sun Salutation 1" and the entire class just started working through poses while I looked around the room, confused out of my mind.  If this was ever your experience in your first yoga class: don't give up.  You've just likely found the wrong class, taught by the wrong instructor and it can be SO MUCH BETTER.

Flash forward a few years later, when my sister-in-law dragged me along to a hot yoga studio.  I did a 30 day trial and liked it well enough, but heat is so not my thing.  I'm not the biggest fan of the summer weather, and sweating it out in a yoga studio that was hotter than the summer heat outdoors left me in the best shape that I'd been in a long time, but it was still not quite my thing.

Then, I got pregnant and couldn't continue with hot yoga because of the heat, but still wanted some way to stay active.  I took a prenatal yoga class and absolutely loved the instructor.  It was the first time that I felt that I really understood what yoga was meant to be.  It's a form of exercise, yes, but it's also about finding focus and peace in life.  During a very tumultous and emotional last few months of work before baby arrived, my weekly yoga class was one of the brightest moments in my week.  I felt like it kept me at peace and centred, as well as helping me with the journey of labour that still lay ahead.  After Marko was born, I signed up for a "mommy and baby" class, where I met some new mommy friends that I'm still close with today.

Once Marko started solid foods, I decided that it was time for me to have a couple of hours to myself each week, so I signed up for a Power Flow yoga class at my local rec centre.  The class was much harder than I had expected, but the instructor was INCREDIBLE and I learned so much from her.  I stayed in that class for a year, until the schedule changed and it didn't fit with my schedule anymore.

Then, I discovered the studio that I am still part of today.  It was a five minute walk from my house (although they just moved into a new studio that is about a five minute drive away).  I've tried a variety of classes at this studio, and each one of them has resonated with me in a different way.  I'll share a post on each of these classes, and styles of yoga, in the weeks and months to come, since there's so much that I could say about each one.

One thing has stayed consistent for me over the past two years, and that's the fact that I have started each class with reading on my mat.  As I look around the room, most of my fellow yoga practitioners are either stretching or laying on their backs in shavasana; however, I've always spent the few minutes waiting for class to start reading a few more pages of my current read.  It's about finding your zen and being present, which is exactly what reading does for me.  And so, dear friends, this is just the first of many posts that I will share with you all, about reading on my mat and where it has taken me from there.

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