I knew I had to do it at some point. I am a movement educator and knew that if I wanted to take the next step with MY OWN MOVEMENT, I needed to dabble in some yoga. Not only would it help my lifts and improve my mobility, but I may learn a thing or two along the way.
After some research, I figured that Moksha Yoga was close enough to my home office and offered a great time slot for me on my mornings off. Mid morning on Tuesday and Thursdays was great. It allowed me to get some work done and then break it up with a nice sweaty yoga sesh.
Once I got this far, I did what I always do with new endeavours and started asking around. I asked some of my clients whom I know are into yoga and asked good friend and colleague Lexie Sparrow for her recommendations. Everyone agreed that the “Moksha 60” class was perfect for a rookie like myself and was offered at the time I wanted. They taught you the poses and even offered assistance if needed.
Boom. Done. Registered.
Tuesday morning came and it was time to head to yoga. I grabbed my newly purchased mat and a water bottle and was on my way. The following is the dialogue of my experience.
ME: “Hi, I’m here for the yoga class at 9:15”
DESK CLERK: “Great, have you practiced yoga before?”
ME: “I’ve been here before a couple times, but it was awhile ago”
DESK CLERK: “Woah, yes it was awhile back. So you’re sure you want to do the Moksha Flow then?” **FIRST RED FLAG
ME: “Ya, whatever class is at 9:15.”
DESK CLERK: “OK, you have a mat and towel?”
ME: Mat. No towel.
DESK CLERK: (After taking payment) “I’ll just give you a towel or you’ll be sliding all over the place in there.” **SECOND RED FLAG
… Onto the inner dialogue of the class
“Wow it’s hot in here… OK, everyone is facing the window. I’ll grab a spot in the back so I can hide.”
Instructor enters and faces the mirror (putting me in the front row). At this point I realize I am the only male in the class and put myself beside two tiny women, making my 6’7” frame look even bigger.
“Damnit, oh well. Everyone is a beginner, should be fine.”
Instructor begins the class lightly. Talks about setting intentions and all that other good stuff. Then starts to get into the poses.
“Wow, this is moving pretty fast, I guess we’re expected to know this stuff? Was there a study guide I was supposed to read?”
“Woah, screwed that one up, okay back on track”
“Holy hell it’s been ten minutes and I’m soaked in sweat. I wonder if I’ll still be able to lift today? STOP, focus on the moment, remember the intentions we set.”
3 minutes (and about 8 poses) pass.
“OK, not lifting today, this is a bloody nightmare. How is this a beginner class? Luckily I know some of the pose names but I am really not doing well here.”
“OK, new pose, never heard of this one.” Looking around at everyone else
“Wow, that is not going to work with my body, how the hell can I make this easier? Oh, she’s doing something different, I’ll copy her. Why does everyone else know what they’re doing? Why am I not getting any help!?!?”
1 hour later, drenched in sweat, the class is over… finally.
I walked back to the men’s changeroom. It was empty (obviously) and I sat there. I felt a little dejected since I came in with a great attitude and left feeling confused and inadequate. If that was a beginner class, I was screwed.
So the next morning I brought it up right away to Lexie and my first client, a yogi as well.
ME: “Guys, that class you recommended killed me! I had no idea what I was doing and she was flying through the poses.”
LEXIE: “What class was it?”
ME: “Moksha Flow, like you said.”
LEXIE AND CLIENT, IN UNISON: “Noooo! That is probably their most advanced class! You wanted the Moksha 60, not the Moksha Flow.”
ME: “That makes A LOT of sense.”
What am I getting at here?
Well, I realized how a lot of people feel walking into the weight room for the first time ever, going to their first group fitness class or even their first time in the gym in a couple of years. Everything is new and everyone else seems to know what they’re doing. You don’t want to feel stupid and you don’t want to make a mistake and embarrass yourself, much less injure yourself (my back was pretty sore after countless cowabungas or whatever they’re called).
This was a coming of age tale.
We are all expected to know everything. We all have that inner voice that wreaks havoc on our ego, telling us we can’t or questioning our confidence.
“Why is that person doing that?”
“Should I know what that is?”
“That doesn’t feel good, how do I change it? Or do I just fight through the pain?”
These are all questions I found myself asking, and realized that everyone else asks themselves on a regular basis in the place where I feel most comfortable.
So let me end with this.
I get it (moreso now than ever). You aren’t 100% sure what you’re doing but you don’t really want anyone to know that. What’s the easiest thing to do? Avoid it altoghether.
Well, I’m not going to do that. I’m going back into the fire. I did, however, register for the right class this week. You’ll find me in the back of the class, getting a lot of help from the instructor (hopefully not like this).
The “face the window” trick won’t work on me this time. I’m onto you, yogis.
Join me on the journey and try something new in your path to your best life. Post in the comments what you’re going to try.
If you’re looking to try strength training, I suggest you register for my email list and receive a FREE COPY of THE ESSENTIALS PACKAGE (click the link… do it), a guide to simplifying your training routine and nutrition.
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