My First Yoga Class

I figured this would be a great way to kick off this blog! So the class I'm going to write about wasn't actually my first yoga class. Maybe I should've titled the post "When Yoga First Got Me". I think my first yoga class was actually a Power Vinyasa practice in Costa Mesa, led by a guy named Geo. My friend Marlynda brought the girls there one night to share this class she loved. I enjoyed it. It was fast moving, but I felt fine because I'm coordinated and I grew up dancing. It was a great class, but I don't think I ever went back. I believe I attended a yoga class at my gym that was lovely, but it didn't stick. My next foray into yoga some years later was a few Bikram classes. My sister Staci brought me. We were always going together to the gym, or kickboxing, or pilates classes or whatever the latest fitness deal she was into. It was fantastic motivation. I'm sure she warned me about the heat. But I'd tell everyone that it's a bad idea to attend your first Bikram (or Hot Yoga) class at 6am when you were out drinking most of the night. Ha ha! I survived. And maybe went back once more. So my first yoga class that really got me: I can't remember all of the details. My friend Stella had recently started teaching, and kept encouraging me to come to class. I had been doing a lot of long distance running, worked crazy hours at a restaurant, and my knees and hips were ever so tight and not happy with me. And I wanted to support my friend and see what her class was all about. I have no idea what we did. I'm sure it was a fantastic Stella flow, always fun and deepening. And towards the end of class, maybe it was after Savasana (our final rest), or maybe it was before, we hugged our knees into our chests (or maybe we were in Happy Baby Pose), and she said the words "You Are Perfect Just As You Are". At least I think that's what she said. And I had an emotional release. I started tearing up because those were the exact words I needed to hear. And class ended shortly after that. I was blown away. I had no idea I could experience that amount of wholeness and physical feel-good from just a short hour of practice. I had no idea that a class (and an instructor) could lead me to that place I needed to go. I had no idea I even wanted to go there! So as you might have guessed, I went back to that same class every Wednesday evening. And I began following Stella around to all of her classes that I could attend. And I tried to continue going to my Pilates and other fitness classes, but they were not the same. They were and are still wonderful practices for the body. But I was needing, and I still need and want that spiritual connection in my practices. I need that meaning. So I guess this post could be titled "The First Moment I Fell In Love With Yoga".

Courtney Sabbagh