There’s A First Time For Everything- My Yoga Firsts

I’ve been reflecting on yoga firsts-  first time I took a yoga class, first yoga friend, first yoga book, the first time I did a head stand.

Sometimes firsts are awesome. Sometimes, well… notsomuch!

Here’s a rundown of my yoga firsts.

First Yoga Video

I was in my 20’s. It was an actual VHS tape by a yoga guru of the time.  I did it maybe 5 times. Then it sat in my video collection until years later.

I had been wondering if yoga would help my anxiety, so I thought I’d give the video a try.  For the first 15 minutes I felt great.  Then my anxiety went through the roof!  Way worse than it was before, and I thought to myself, ‘Something isn’t right here, this should have made me feel better, why didn’t it work?”

First Yoga Book

I went to the book store to find a book so I could learn how to do yoga on my own.  I had researched books ahead of time and chosen a book by a super famous rock star yoga teacher whose name I won’t mention.  Hubby went off to look up rock star yogi’s book on the computer.

While he was away, a book on the shelf kept staring at me. I tried to ignore it because the title had the word ’emotional’ in it. I was dealing with anxiety. I didn’t want anything to do with the word ‘e-mo-tio-nal’.  Still, I picked it up and thumbed through the pages.

Hubby came back with rock star yogi’s book and we bought both.

The little book staring at me was called Emotional Yoga, by Bija Bennett and it is what started me on the path to practicing yoga and becoming a teacher.

Rock star yogi’s book? Not so helpful, but it did make a spiffy + portable desk for my laptop!

First Yoga Class

Six weeks after I bought my first yoga book, I ventured out for my first yoga class.

I had scored a wait list spot in a 14 hour workshop with Gary Kraftsow and it was 4 hours away.

Hubby drove me. I was a nervous wreck and cried half the way there (anxiety will do that).

By the time I finished the workshop with Gary I was walking through dollar stores and tourist shops as if it was a ‘normal thing’. No anxiety. None.

It was amazing and I knew I was on to something.

First Yoga Friend

I met her at a Yoga Journal conference in Estes Park Colorado.

Hubby drove me + delivered me to all my meetings and waited outside in case I needed him (a true knight in shining armor is my man:).

No crying this time, but lots of fear from feeling wonky at 9000 ft. Did you know there is less air up there?  Anyway, this is where I met my first yoga friend.

Her name is Nancy. She lives in Montana but, she’s not a cowgirl she’s a registered nurse.

As someone who has anxiety this comes in really handy when she becomes your roommate in yoga training, because what could be more reassuring than having a nurse handy when you feel like you’re going to die? Yup.

First Trip To A Yoga Ashram

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to yoga training I go!

Think giant redwoods in California!  Think 70 + folks you’ve never met in your life hanging out + learning together! Think vegetables! Lots and lots of vegetables! Think like Gilligan, no phone-no life-no motor car, not a single luxury!

Now add 4 yoga practices a day + 8 – 10 hours of classes a day for 14 days.

Honestly, I thought I was gonna die (see it WAS handy to have a nurse nearby!). Yet here I am 7 sessions + 2 years later and still, I live.

First Head Stand

My type of yoga is all about what’s appropriate for you as an individual. So it’s no surprise that a headstand is not a requirement. But did that stop me from wanting to try? Heck no!

Enter the teachings on headstand. Teacher says, “You work for a while to get up there, and then once you get up there you think to yourself, ‘Yay! Look at me! I’m doing  a headstand!’ and it’s about that time that you lose your focus and you fall down.”

Enter me doing my first headstand.  I worked for a while to get up there, and then once I got up there I thought to myself, ‘Yay! Look at me! I’m doing  a headstand!’ and it was about that time that I lost my focus and fell down.

True story.

First Time Teaching A Class

It wasn’t fancy.  It was at my house (in the room formerly known as my dining room). There was 1 person; she was a friend from church.   I was overjoyed to have someone to teach.  The rest … is history.


Your turn!

Got any yoga firsts?

Share them with us!

Go on… we’re all ears…