So I think I may be a yoga snob, actually I know I am. Im one of those people that take 5 minutes to determine whether I will like a class or not and if I do, I am committed. I think it is really important to feel that connection to your yoga class.
Im not an instructor, nor have I studied it but I have been practising yoga consistently for 3 years – In the yogi world, thats really not much, but once you find that perfect yoga class thats right for you that kind of sets the bar for the others.
My perfect yoga class happened back in my home town. The first time I walked in the door I could feel harmony, hear the soft music in the background and sense the complete stillness of the yogi’s in shavansa in the next room.
The instructor greeted me warmly and asked me how my day was, told me to grab a mat, a block and a blanket and proceed into the next room. I unrolled my mat and started my stretches with the other 15 people in the room. Finally settling in a cross legged position, while observing the ancient buddha at the front of the class, I waited for the teacher to arrive.
We started the class with our eyes closed, our hands in prayer, taking in big breathes and letting go of our day. As I started to reached my third breath, I felt my shoulders automatically slump and a sense of tranquility wash over me. This sensation stayed with me throughout the whole class and the deeper I breathed, the more relaxed I became.
The positions flowed into another, sun salutations, downward dogs, upward dogs, rising up and then floating down, hands to prayer, hands above, heating our bodies up and moving into the rhythm of one another.
After a few warrior poses we then moved into the chair, 10 seconds of stillness, with our hands raised above in prayer, our legs slightly bent as though we were about to sit down, we focused on our breathing and staying in the posture.
Next our hands were brought down in front of hearts and with one leg raised, we became balanced and centred while moving swiftly into the tree pose. This pose is one of my favourites. It’s a chance to not only balance in movement but to become centred in yourself.
After a couple more downward dogs and few seconds in child’s pose, we moved onto our backs and prepared for the last set of poses, backward bends. We started with the fish pose, and were then challenged by the bridge finally ending in exhaustion with the wheelbarrow.
By this stage, the windows had been closed, a soft meditative tune was surrounding us and my body felt like jelly. We ended our class on our backs and prepared for shavasa. The teachers low voice echoed through the room, talking about love, appreciation and letting go while proceeding to give each and every one of us a foot massage.
Once our moment of silence and stillness was over, we rolled onto our right side with our eyes still closed and slowly lifted ourselves into sitting with hands in prayer at our heart. We expressed gratitude for everything in our lives and ended the class with a few big sighs of ommm and a whispered Namaste.
Afterwards I floated out of the class, with a grateful, open heart, grabbed an apple on my way out and proceeded to stay in my bubble of zen for the rest of the night.