It was almost noon on a rainy Monday. I looked at the clock, surprised by how quickly time had gotten away from me. I grabbed my yoga mat, pulled on my shoes and headed out the door, thankful I only live a short walk away from the studio. When I got downstairs, I saw that it was actually raining steadily, not just misting like I had expected from San Diego. For a split second, I stood there with my hand on the door, debating whether I should go to Amy’s vinyasa class or go back up to my apartment and make some hot tea. Then I pushed open the door and walked resolutely through the rain.
When I first started doing yoga, I would come home so sore, I couldn’t imagine going to class the next day or even the day after that. But sometime that evening, I would ask myself whether going to yoga had been the right decision and almost always, despite my aching muscles, I decided that it was. There have been a few times when going to yoga was the wrong decision. I remember being dehydrated in an early morning hot class. Or the time I had the beginnings of a cold and every second I spent in down dog only exacerbated the pressure in my head. But when I look back on the seven years yoga and I have known each other, our fights have been few and far between.
Once in the studio, belongings placed in cubbies, blankets and blocks gathered, Amy Caldwell started the class in child’s pose. She asked us to focus on the transitions, to be mindful during each posture and during the movement from one posture to another. Once we had warmed up and flowed through a series of standing postures, Amy guided us into hanumanasa, or the splits. While most of the class wasn’t capable of accomplishing the full expression of the pose, myself included, I felt the energy along the length of my legs, the weight of my upper body bearing down into the blocks under my hands and an incredible intensity in my hamstring.
Just then, the sound of the rain hitting the roof became louder and there was a collective breath that spread throughout the room. We had been separate, each caught up in our private struggles when the rain drew everyone’s attention out of themselves to coalesce into one moment of levity, I think someone even laughed. It was as if we had all arrived, truly arrived in the room, practicing whatever version of hanumasana our bodies were capable of performing that day. Right at that moment, I knew that I was exactly where I was supposed to be, exactly when I was supposed to be there and the confidence of that knowledge spread warmly through my being.
Those moments in life are rare, at least for me. As Amy gently woke us from savasana, she asked again that we be mindful of this transition, not from one pose to another but from yoga to everyday life. It’s one thing to have a moment of clarity, to experience complete confidence and purpose. It’s another to carry those feelings with you through the ebb and flow of life. When I focus on the transitions in my practice and in my life, I understand why my answer has always been that yoga was the right decision. Each time I emerge from savasana, I sense that something is different in my body and in my mind, something has been laid to rest and something new has been allowed to blossom.
If you’ve never been to Amy’s class, you should definitely check it out. I can’t promise rain and epiphanies, but you’ll feel the strong sense of community, Amy’s passion for teaching and for her students and I’m confident you’ll leave knowing it was the right decision to go.