Do you remember your first yoga class? I remember mine vividly...it was with a bona fide Indian Swami in Goa and it was quite a trial by fire.
Just getting to the class was pretty traumatic - my girlfriend and I were accosted by a feral dog intent on savaging us as a procession of tuk tuk drivers played a fun game amongst themselves…‘let’s see how close we can drive to the tourists without actually killing them’.
The class itself was a completely mind blowing experience for someone who had no idea what yoga was about. We began with chanting (I remember thinking ‘I wonder what my friends would think if they could see me now?’) and then into some strong breath kriyas (cleansing practices). I think it was at this point that I got the giggles but that soon stopped when we moved into the postures.
What followed was one of the most intense and uncomfortable experiences of my life. At the time I was so inflexible I could barely reach my shins, so even the most basic poses were a serious ask for me and the teacher didn't seem inclined to modify the practice to accommodate the fact I was as supple as a plank.
But somehow I managed to make it to the end of the class, and as I lay back for savasana I clearly remember the most incredible sensation pulsating throughout my body - a sense of feeling fully alive and completely energised. I was hooked.
When I woke the next morning I could barely walk - my body ached from top to toe. But once the pain had eased a little, off we set again (armed with a bottle of water to squirt at the scary dog) and that was the beginning of the journey that’s brought me to where I am today…there’s been a lot of yoga since, but if I’m honest none as memorable as that very first class.
How was your first experience of yoga? Let me know in the comments below...