I hadn't long been living in Perth. I made friends easily. Two girls from Uni and I were inseparable from the word go. We must have discussed our curiosity about yoga one day after class and it was agreed that we would all do it together for the first time.
Yoga is scary, Right?
We met at Fitness First in Innaloo - I was the country girl, so the two of them must have agreed that if it were any further from where I lived, I'd have gotten lost. And made us late.
Back then (she says in the voice of a 90 year old with no teeth) there was no colour on our televisions.
Sorry, distracted. Back then wasn't all that long ago, but back then, yoga wasn't this huge trend it is now. You can find a studio on every street corner these days. There seems to be more teachers than students. But, back then, in 2006 Fitness First had some of the best yoga teachers in Perth. And I was lucky enough to be their student!
I am not entirely sure who my teacher was that day, but Amber Spear and I have discussed that it may be how we are familiar with one another. Nevertheless, she did teach me many times over the next 2 years.
So we arrived at Fitness First and said we wanted to just be casual gym goers for the day. We went up stairs, entered the room, grabbed ourselves a mat and rolled it out. You know how new students roll their mats out, really loud and obnoxious....yeah...we didn't do that. There were coy looks shot between the three of us before class began.
"What is going to happen?" Was the question the three of us were wondering...
The funny thing about trying something for the first time is that you have no idea what to expect. And I guess that is why we seek moral support. So that we aren't alone in this experience which we declare awkward. It is so nice to share these experiences with friends. Perhaps it enriches the friendship. Or the experience. Either way, the memory is better engrained. Especially when laughter is involved.
And still, after all this time, all these years, so many many many classes and teachers and yoga spaces later, I still get that feeling of the unknown when I go to a new studio, or a new teacher....or sometimes even when I am about to teach a class. You just never know what might happen when you get on your mat and decide to be present. Any kind of demon may unbury his ugly head, say "hello" and demand to be dealt with.
But, these days, the giggles don't take over!!!
Yep, there were giggles. We were upside down wagging our happy doggie tails in the air, we were locking eyes with ourselves in the mirror standing like warriors, we were saluting the sun with big arm gestures...all the while, the guy next to me was breathing like he was a steam train. I couldn't contain myself. Sometimes laughter is the only way through a situation.
And yet at the same time, his constant breathing had this beautiful grounding and calming effect on me. The thing that pushed me over the edge with hysterics, was the exact thing that brought me back to my self. And it wasn't even my breath. It was just the invitation to breathe. The comfort, consistency, and steadiness.
And then it was all over. We were invited to lay down and relax.
"What? Already?" I thought. I felt like I had only just arrived in my body. But I lay there, crazy monkey mind fully present and rabbitting on about all the things I was to accomplish in my day, post yoga...
uhoh, the giggles were back....
So we left the class feeling relaxed, renewed, challenged, and inspired. All three of us decided we would sign up to a gym membership....and the rest is history.
Yoga was my study break. I went 5-6 times a week, I got to meet some amazing teachers, only a few names I can remember - Amber Spear and Sage...Sage didn't have a last name. But he did have an amazing understanding of yoga. I quizzed him after class one day about his training and he said, "you'd make a great teacher," and he went on to tell me he was going to recommend me to a woman who teaches where he had done his training in Fremantle. I did follow it up. We spoke on the phone. But these things take time to manifest....