Grateful for Yoga

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(This blog post comes from First Street Yoga’s newest teacher, Julie Ellen.  Julie will be teaching Chair Yoga (and other classes, we hope!) beginning September 9.  If you are interested in Chair Yoga or any of our other yoga classes, take a look at the Classes/Schedule page and know that you are always welcome in person or on Zoom.  CD)

Today I had an exchange with a woman at the hardware store in Mount Vernon where I interjected the fact that I would be joining the First Street Yoga community as an instructor this fall. Noting my enthusiasm, I think this young woman was happy for me. But she couldn’t relate – to yoga, that is. She told me she had given yoga a try once or twice, but it just never took. She couldn’t get into it. Isn’t that interesting? For me, yoga stopped me in my tracks from the very first class experience. I had no idea why – because I was as stiff and clumsy as anyone could be. But something about that deep breathing spoke to me. Weeks into my introduction to yoga, I distinctly remember the awareness that I felt better. Not because I had started to feel a little less challenged by Downward Facing Dog (a VERY little less challenged!), but better about myself. I recognized that I was less irritable and less judgmental, toward myself and others. I was cultivating kindness as never before.  I remember telling a friend that I liked myself better.

Fast forward 15 years, the Pandemic.  I’ve never been more grateful for the Yoga tradition, teachings, and physicality than this past 18 months. It has been my teacher of what I most need to know and shown me where I can find answers (hint: it’s very close to home).

I hope that young woman gives yoga another try sometime.