I am what my husband refers to as an “Appalachian woman;” it’s true, I sold my F-150 pickup truck in order to move to California. After seeing them everywhere, I now drive a Prius. The same thing with my yoga mat. When I first landed in the South Bay, I saw them everywhere, so I bought one at Target. Some may call me pretty basic, but I like to think I know something good when I see it.
My first mat was squishy, navy blue, and had a light blue Mandala design on it that made it insanely slippery. I phoned the Martial Arts gym across the street from our apartment to ask about the yoga class they offered. I said, “I’m coming yoga tomorrow.” The teacher said, “Great!” And I said, “Should I bring my yoga mat?” Looking back, it makes me so happy that I asked this question. I’m sure the teacher found joy in knowing she’d be introducing someone to a life-changing practice. I still have that yoga mat as a reminder of my “first time.”
If you feel clueless about walking into the studio, let me tell you, I have been there . I attended class that day with one older man who didn’t speak much English but seriously nailed every pose. I don’t remember anything else. I don’t remember how I felt, or what I did, I just remember thinking, “Dude, this guy gets it. I don’t.”
The teacher’s pet in me went to work. I started going twice a week to classes at 7:30pm, which means I stayed up past my bedtime just to go to yoga. Again, I couldn’t tell you what we were doing. I’m certain I still didn’t get it. I have faint memories of farting once in shoulder stand. (Okay, okay, the memory is not faint at all. It’s very clear. I was mortified!)
Then I signed up for a 30-day Yoga Challenge at the studio that would become my home. Let me lay a cliche on you now: the rest is history. And for another cliche: history is biography. The history of my practice will tell you the story of me these past ten years. From naive to strong, from strong to soft, from soft to compassionate, from compassionate to empowered. It’s all written in my practice, and it’s all been made better by my practice.
It all started with that first decision to call up the studio, hop on my pretty mat, and embarrass myself. Today, as a teacher, studio owner, and mat hopping regular, I will tell you there is nothing embarrassing about being a beginner (though the farts still make me blush).
“You’ve got to be a beginner before you can be anything else.” – Author Unknown
If you’re ready to embrace a new beginning, our doors are open to you! It is a great honor to be with you on this important first step. And if you’re on this list but don’t live in Los Angeles, please make your way to your closest yoga studio. Your “rest is history” can start today.