Finding the Perfect Yoga Class (By Accident)

It's a yogi match!

By Kara Richardson Whitely, author of Gorge

As my readers know, I’ve been trying to get back into yoga. Yoga brings me to my happy place and yet, I couldn’t even get there.  

I had been hesitant about getting into yoga again because my favorite instructors were from a previous gym. I couldn’t afford to join a fancy studio in addition to my gym and I had been to some rather disappointing classes. I went to prenatal yoga and liked it — but now that my little guy is already 16 months, I needed to find something for the non-pregnant me. I decided to give instructors at my gym a try, signed up for 9 a.m. Gentle Yoga, and put on my yoga pants.

I strapped my little guy into the Bob Stroller and made my way to class. I even brought my own yoga mat and looped it around the handlebars. But with the last-minute preparation to get out the door with a now-walking toddler, I was running late. I double-timed my walk but by the time I dropped him off in the childcare area, I was late. Any yogis out there know it’s bad karma to walk into a yoga class late, particularly while they are ohm-ing in, meditating and preparing to practice. I would have ruined the experience for a lot of the people. Besides, the room was completely full and there was nowhere to put my mat.

I was bummed but since there was another studio across the hall, I decided to use that space to do a few of my favorite yoga poses and be done with it. I rolled out my mat, put on some of my favorite yoga music, and got down to business. But as I took a moment with my forehead on the ground in child’s pose, another person walked in the room. And then another person walked in.

Little by little, the room filled up with people, who also pulled out their yoga mats around me. There was a class starting at 9:30 but I had no idea what kind of yoga it was. Yoga can vary so much — from hot power yoga to the gentle slow yoga. I was intimidated by the kind of yoga that requires you to jump into postures or sweat through an hour.

I wanted to leave. I started to think how I could excuse myself even though I probably had one of the best yoga spots in the studio. I shyly asked the man who took the spot next to me what kind of yoga class this was. He said it was vinyasa. Even though I never had a teacher who specialized in that (I spent a lot of time practicing with a kundalini yogi), it didn’t sound too scary so I took a deep breath and decided to stay.

When the room was full, Aubrey, the spritely instructor, arrived. She took time to greet each of her students. I explained that I would baby my knee with a blanket and she made sure I felt welcome in her class. And with that she started with a reading about meditation and with a class that was a perfect fit for my style and speed of yoga. She even played some soft U2 music in her yoga playlist. This felt like a match made in yoga heaven. I left class feeling more aligned in my spine, and in my journey to health.

So after months (if not years) of stalling and worrying about finding a yoga class that fit me and my style, I had finally found it by being late. In fact, I liked it so much and am so enthusiastic about yoga again, I signed up for her 5:30 a.m. class.

Follow Kara on Connect @gorgegirl15

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