A yoga teacher once told us not to miss the Mmmmmm at the end of the Om. And today as I sat in Jennifer's Yoga 1/2 class at Urban Flow Yoga the Mmmmm deliciousness of the space was exhilarating.
About 2 months ago I made a yoga date with my friend Katerw and that morning I had such anxiety about the class that I had to bow out at the last minute.
It hadn't always been that way. In fact I have to say that yoga saved me in so many ways. My heart was aching from an intensely difficult year and one Monday, sitting at my desk, I decided I was going to find a yoga class.
I'd taken yoga when I lived in San Diego, first at school and then at my beloved Yoga One (swoon!). But it'd been a while since I'd taken class in SF. I shored myself up for an all levels class at the Yoga Tree Castro location. It was a mellow flow class led by Rusty Wells. The description spoke of gratitude and open hearts and a place where all were welcome. I went that night and every Monday for the next 6 months. When Rusty announced he wouldn't be teaching the class anymore I was so disappointed, until I found out that his new home would be the incredible, donation based studio Urban Flow Yoga.
I was immediately in love with the space, the community, the energy. I went often and with joy. Then this summer, I hurt my shoulder (not during yoga) so badly I literally thought I was having a heart attack. The pain radiated up through my arm, my chest, and my jaw. The next few months were a series of test after test and eventually physical therapy.
This has been my first experience with PT and so while I don't have anything to compare it to, I can say without a doubt that I LOVE my physical therapist (more on him in another post). During our last pt session I shared my frustration at the duration of this healing process (it takes how long it takes). After a warm up he stood by me and guided me through modified yoga poses and coached me to pull my shoulder blades down and back; and I remembered viscerally how much I missed yoga.
So all of this is to say... I went to yoga this morning!!!! For the first time in half a year!
I'd seen the new January schedule and when I saw that the illuminating and grace-full Jennifer Jarrett was teaching a yoga 1/2 class I decided I was in! Last night, I laid out my yoga clothes, dusted off my mat and attempted to get some sleep. And in the morning, when I got ready I was (hardly) anxious at all. I'll admit I did go back upstairs three times, convinced I had forgotten something. But when I arrived, there at the top of the stairs was JJ with a huge smile and a cheer welcoming me back.
Post yoga, I still feel a little surprised that I did it! I got through the whole class, using blocks to assist or backing off when I needed to. I was careful not to put too much weight on my shoulder and the moment I felt a strain I breathed and changed my pose. Most of all I was present and happy and warm and so grateful to have the chance to come back in the room and on the mat.