For a long time I’ve wanted someone with a lot more yoga experience than me to write about it here at Salt Like Lessons. Then magic intervened and I met Misty. I love her energy, her spirit, and her approach to her practice. These are her words:
The Magic of Yoga
This is the magic of yoga.
If you are stepping onto a yoga mat for the first time, you likely won’t feel any of these things. No, you’ll likely feel unsure, out of place, maybe curious. You might realize that you love the feel of the sticky rubber under your bare feet, or you might be feeling a little self-conscious and wishing you had gotten a pedicure or at least trimmed your toenails.
All yoga students feel this way at the beginning. Some are downright scared, but they try it anyways. The teacher will guide you in a way that might be completely foreign to you, asking you to carefully set your hand here and place your foot there. It will feel like a game of solo twister.
You’ll wonder why it’s so important to spread your fingers wide, you’ll wonder if anyone is looking at you when you close your eyes, and you’ll wonder if you are the only one not breathing.
And that’s ok. You keep going, surprised that your muscles are shaking. You’ll notice that everyone can fold themselves in half like they are made of rubber, while you can barely touch your toes (how did that happen?!).
You’ll choose child’s pose over downward dog and you might feel embarrassed about that. Don’t worry, someone else is in child’s pose, too. Enjoy your time there for as long as you like.
You might feel like you are getting it all wrong. Go easy on yourself… there is no right or wrong, just the yes or no of how you feel in your body. It will take you some time to be confident enough to honor that, but it will happen.
Savasana comes and you wonder why anyone would name this pose after a corpse. You contemplate this while you rest with your eyes closed, impatiently tapping your fingers on your belly. Your mind will wander to dinner and the Facebook post you are gonna write later (Went to my first yoga class tonight. Got my butt kicked. #OM).
You end class with your palms together in front of your heart. If you are lucky, you will notice a shift. Maybe you are aware of the warmth of your hands pressed together. Maybe you realize that your breath is deep and luscious. Maybe you are feeling the stirrings of emotion within your heart and you are not sure why. Maybe you want to laugh… or cry.
If you are lucky, you will notice this. It will be gone in a flash, the second you roll up your mat and leave the room. But it will come back to you later, perhaps when you are lying quietly in bed and you realize that you are watching the rise and fall of your belly as you breathe.
You’ll wonder what all the fuss is about and decide you are gonna go back. And you do, over and over.
And one day you will step on your mat and it will feel like you are coming home.
Misty Pittman is owner and founder of MoonShine Yoga, based in the rolling hills of Kentucky. She also writes about living a life that is filled with magic and bliss, guiding women to create the same in their own lives. She has a weakness for warm breezes and bubbly wine.