Amy Ippoliti, international Anusara teacher extraordinaire recently posted on her Facebook fan page: “What first brough you to the yoga mat?”
It really got me thinking. I remember my first class vividly–it was a power yoga class in Athens, with a teacher who still reigns as my “favorite,” guiding me through a sweaty, dynamic, uplifting practice that left me feeling completely and utterly at peace with my chaotic life. But that’s not really the question.
Why on earth did I decide to try yoga?? I didn’t know any yogis, I didn’t have a single idea about what a yoga class would be like, and the place was just about as far across town as I could have reasonably driven for it being in the same city.
I think if I boil it down, it was pure, unadulterated curiosity. I had a yearning to peek behind the somewhat veiled curtain around yoga. What are all of the poses? What do they do? Will the teacher ask me to meditate? Am I entering a secret society? Is this some path toward nirvana or enlightenment? Will yoga change me?
While those questions sound deep, I felt a more playful curiosity around them. In my first class, I carried that playful attitude toward myself and the practice.
Now, when I reach times of frustration with yoga and the whole universe of opinions, ideas, teachers, etc., I try to remember what drew me in in the first place–and often I’m back to good in no time.