I started my day in the perfect way: with some sweaty vinaysa. At 6:30am, I rolled out my yoga mat at Perry Hall Yoga Center, a wonderful new studio that offers everything from yoga, meditation, and Tai Chi/Qi Gong classes to life coaching workshops and therapeutic massage. This place even offers Russian Ballet classes for those of us ready to unleash our inner Black Swan. Plus, I live just minutes away from Perry Hall Yoga Center, so down-dogging it up early in the morning is pretty convenient.
I’d say my excitement for early morning yoga is apparent here.
Man I was pumped.
And apparently feeling very aggressive.
Ready to face the morning chill en route to class. Also I can’t photograph myself in the mirror.
I could rhapsodize about this class for days…especially because I was the only student! I guess no one else felt as compelled as I did to get their yoga on at 6:30am. Weird.
This unexpected, yet (very much) welcomed private yoga session motivated me to take full advantage of having an instructor all to myself. I reveled in receiving one-on-one attention. Not that this attention didn’t intimidate me. At first, I felt nervous to falter or show weakness on my mat. I tried to take each pose and start my ujjayi breath with perfect strength and precision because I was the only student with whom instructor, Meg (who is awesome), was working. I felt “on display,” as Melissa Gorga would say.
I relaxed once Meg took me through a few flows because 1) I realized that perfection doesn’t really exist, especially in yoga. Also, perfection is boring. And 2) my heart rate increased and I started to sweat, so I automatically shifted my focus from my whirring thoughts to what my body was doing in each asana.
Throughout class, I asked Meg a few questions about certain poses (i.e. What the heck do I do with my one arm when I flip my dog?”). And she discussed specific benefits of a few poses. Did you know that Bridge and Wheel ease severe stress and panic attacks? I’ll keep that in mind the next time I want to rip my hair out over my writing sample for grad school applications.
Meg also helped me adjust specific parts of my body, assistance that we don’t often receive in larger classes. We shared a beautiful 90 minutes together. By the end of class, I realized in a new and deeper way that yoga equalizes us. Sure, Meg led me through the poses and imparted her wisdom to me, but I still felt like we were practicing together as students of yoga.
After all, “yoga” does mean union or all one.