Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ommmmmy goodness!

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.

With gratitude!


  1. Awesome title. So proud of you, Bethany. Gorgeous photos.

    Next time I come into town, let's do Bikram! Then we can both get hot. ;)

  2. That is sooooo great!!! I always say the world would be a better place if everyone practiced yoga. It teaches us to accept our limitations, yet shows us that we are capable of so much more that we ever thought possible at the same time! I've had a few weeks off of the mat with the craziness of the holidays and I'm jonesing to get back to it...thanks for the inspiration :)

  3. This is awesome news!!! I'm so proud of you and so happy it was such a great experience!! I'm dying to go to a "class" of some kind...spinning, yoga, zumba....I just can't wait to get myself moving! You motivate me to crave the kind of peace you find in the things you do that make you feel so good! You go chick!! ::hugs!!:: :^)

  4. @Esther! Thanks friend. Taken with my iphone no less. I definitely want to go to yoga with you but Bikram... really? I might melt.

    @Aimee! Yay! So glad you're feeling inspired to head back to the mat! I definitely paid attention to my limitations today but totally felt proud of how far I was able to go today!

    @Keri! Thanks cousin! I love being able to share this all with you. And yes! Totally, you should check out a class. Most studios let newbies try out the first class for free!

  5. can't wait to be on the mat next to you again. welcome back B. <3

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Yes Kate!! Can't wait to practice with you again! Perhaps Chillsville this Friday!