When I moved into my own apartment years ago, first time sans roommates, I chopped many a thing to make my new budget work. No more dinners out, no more travel (besides visits to family), no extravagant purchases at the grocery store, no clothes shopping – and no more yoga classes.
I had been practicing Ashtanga at Yoga Space in Brookfield for quite some time and it was my sanctuary. Pre-move, I had what could be called a…. tumultuous relationship. (Some might say poisonous, if not pussyfooting around it.) I was the sole provider – of food, money, support, love. Anyway, while trying to hold that shipwreck together, I found strength in my body. While practicing Ashtanga, my body became the fittest it’s ever been, really. I was at my ideal weight, I was toned, I was strong. I looked forward to that butt kicking session every Tuesday and Thursday – I always left feeling better than when I walked in.
Once the shipwreck sank and I found a place to call my own, I had to organize my priorities. Yoga was one of the first expenses to go. Classes kept getting more expensive and my studio was a bit of a drive, so I couldn’t even afford the gas to get me there anymore. While this was out of necessity, I look back wishing I could have done something different. Post shipwreck Sarah was … well… a wreck. She could have done with some butt kicking yoga – and needed it more than ever before. But, alas. I was poor and there was simply no way to have it all.
So, years went by. I’m sure my budget shifted and changed – especially after my living situation changed. (Ahem, enter the wondrous SteveKam.) But, for some reason, yoga never made it back to the top of my priority list. It had become something I thought of as a luxury, not a necessity. I kept saying that I’d get back into it someday…. more years went by.
I’m not sure what came over me a week ago, but I found myself clicking on the website of a local chain of studios and before I could overthink it and come up with the usual excuses, I had purchased an unlimited monthly pass and was marking my calendar with class times.
Let me share with you my observations in the past week (in which I have taken 3 classes):
- I am rusty. But, my instructors make me forget that within 5 minutes of walking through the door. (Starting back with Hatha and Hatha Flow to get a solid refresher.) One teacher told me she feels that we are all new students each day. Good reminder. It’s not a race. It’s not a competition. I am not being graded. Who cares if my neighbor can twist into a pretzel with a smile on her face and I am barely bent in half? That’s not what it’s about. It is reminding me how badly I need a space in my life where I do not put this pressure on myself.
- That being said, I must acknowledge (honesty time!) that I can no longer even touch my toes. But, I am getting closer with each class and feel taller, longer, looser by the day. It is truly amazing how quickly you can regain your flexibility. Again, I’m faced with the fact that this was something keeping me from going back to yoga – embarrassment. Well, screw that. We all have to start somewhere and some us have to start there a few times.
- Quiet time is something I do not allow myself anywhere else. I can already feel how precious this time alone in my body and head is. My mind doesn’t slow down too often – learning (re-learning) to make it do so is such a valuable life skill.
- I feel BETTER when I leave than when I walked through the door. This is the big one. My body feels better – and at the risk of sounding like a fruitcake, my soul feels better. I feel like this must be what religious people get out of going to church. (I know that sounds so ignorant, but I have always envied my friends who clearly gain so much from their varied congregations, while my experience with organized religion has always been uncomfortable.) I feel grounded, balanced and clear after my practice. All the problems I had when I arrived are still there, but I feel better equipped to tackle them.
So, yeah. Impulsive website clicking was, in this instance, absolutely for the best.
Will I be able to keep up this pace? 3-4 classes a week is a lot of time to invest – I am sure there will come a time when this won’t work for me. Will I be able to keep this in my budget? It’s a financial investment and I’m sure there will come a time when other things (or small people) will need to take priority over an unlimited yoga pass. But, I can’t put too much energy into those thoughts right now.
Right now, I am just enjoying this amazing feeling I have allowed myself.