I entered the darkened studio with some hesitancy. Although I had practiced Yoga before, this was a new place, and I had concerns. Where should I place my mat? If I put it here in the back is that someone’s regular spot? Can I use another mat as a cushion? What if I can’t keep up? The studio filled up quickly, the instructor entered, and soon I could hear soft music and a reassuring voice. For the next hour I did my best, making adjustments as needed…
One of my goals when I retired a few years ago was to get my body back in shape. Although I walk daily and play golf occasionally, I knew I needed something more to stay healthy and active. So began a variety of classes and strength training until I finally settled into Yoga. It seemed to fit me well – stretching, balance, flexibility – everything I needed. Then came a back injury, followed by two setbacks, and yoga was relegated to the back burner. A health scare a few months ago and a stern talking-to from my doctor convinced me that I needed to get back to doing something in addition to walking.
I started by downloading a short Yoga routine on my iPad, and after two sessions I was hungry for more. Now I’m back to yoga two or three times a week at a local gym. I was worried at first that I wouldn’t be able to keep up, that I wouldn’t be able to do all the poses. And I’m not able to do everything. But that doesn’t matter. In Yoga there is no competition, everyone practices at his or her own level, and that is always acceptable. I think there are parallels here with what we want for our students in reading and writing workshops – no competition, let me meet you where you are, I will accept your best effort and guide you to move forward.
For the next hour I did my best, making adjustments as needed…and that made all the difference.