I came to Yoga during my first pregnancy. The first class I remember ever since. I was just beyond the 3 months mark and the class was a mixture with small bellies like me up to 9 months pregnant. And here I was going into a forward bent barely touching my knees – looking around and watching the larger bellied women around me going all the way down touching the floor (with straight legs!). I know, Yoga is not a competition but did I feel stiff and inflexible that moment compared to everybody around me! It felt like a nice ‘workout’ though. After all, my teacher said she will challenge us, ‘we are ‘just’ pregnant and not sick’. And yes she did make us work!
I loved the class itself but over the next couple of lessons I struggled to get the “Yoga Feel” they all talked about. It was a lot of information to take in, the new movements, twists and feeling muscles I didn’t know I had and that all combined with proper in- and exhalation. And not to forget about these relaxation minutes at the end of the class! Everybody seemed to look forward to those minutes and I had to force myself to not get up, my mind spinning and my body feeling restless. What is this talk that Yoga makes you relaxed and feel good I wondered. To me it was a just a good pregnancy workout.
But then, during one class when I really didn’t think about anything and just went with the flow it all clicked together, the movements and the breathing and an enjoyable relaxation / meditation part towards the end. And that’s when it got me. It all just felt right, smooth and relaxed and good for body and mind!
Yoga has so many facets and every teacher is different and every participant has different interests and reasons for joining a class. If you are interested in Yoga make sure you do find the right teacher and class (I surely had some that were not always “my cup of tea”). And give yourself some time to get into the swing. Yoga does feel awkward and ‘just wrong’ at times and it takes a while to get into the flow. But once you can relax into the poses and combine it with your breathing it might just all click together and you get this ‘Yoga Feel’ and realise why it is not only good for the body but as well the mind.
Experience, have fun, go with the flow and let go!
(copyright Ann-Katrin van Schie)