Monday, March 3, 2014

The Wrong Class?

Last week I went to the wrong yoga class.

How, you may ask, could such a thing happen? How could there be a "wrong" yoga class?

Well, not all yoga classes are created equal, believe it or not. Since beginning my yoga journey 18 months ago, I have discovered the subtle differences in the classes offered. There are Fusion, Yoga Rocks and Slow Flow classes held at the Royal Oak Yoga Shelter. Every now and than there are Yin Classes and special workshops. Other studios offer different variations with different names. A friend of mine is devoted to her Bikram Yoga. So, no, not all Yoga Classes are the same.

So, there I was at the Thursday 5:45pm class ... stretching and setting my intention like I do before each session begins. I'm not chatty before class. I get on my mat and look inward. But then the music started. The poses began. And I quickly realized this wasn't my Slow Flow Class ... this was Yoga Rocks. I'd never attended a Yoga Rocks session ... I'd been curious and considered it, but had not yet taken the challenge. Until that fateful Thursday night. I truly had no idea what to expect. 

It started with the stretching and short, faster movements. My thoughts began to race as I made the discovery. And I was faced with the question ... was I gonna fish or cut bait?

There is no judgement in a yoga class. So I could have picked up my mat and walked out without anyone thinking less of me. But then, I thought about the "intention" I had set before the session began and I decided to breathe and keep flowing.

For those of you familiar with my blog, you will remember that yoga classes typically begin with the yogi asking us to set an intention. When I first began yoga, I had no idea what that meant. I thought of yoga as simply a new variation of my exercise regime. But I quickly discovered that yoga provides the invitation to take you deeper ... if you choose to take the journey. It is a mind, body and spiritual discipline. You get out of it whatever you choose. Find what you seek. You offer up your best ... and that is always enough.

Well, as I prepared for class that evening, my "Intention" was to find a sense of calm in the presence of the storm. Peace amidst emotion. Steadiness when I felt my world quaking. I was looking for inner strength and the ability to rise above the challenges of the day ... of life. To find a stronger, less volatile perspective as "life happened."

And that's what I found.

See, as I was flowing poses faster than I ever had and guiding my own vinyasa, I realized that I wasn't in the wrong class at all. I was exactly where I needed to be to achieve what I'd hoped to achieve. I was finding calm amidst flowing poses without a guide. I was sweating and moving and smiling and centered and still breathing. Just me, the heat, the music and the mat.

If I'd looked more carefully at the schedule, I would have selected the 7:15pm class: The Slow Flow Class.  But, on this particular night, the Universe guided me to Yoga Rocks to find Calm in the Challenge ... Strength of Spirit immersed in the Unknown and Unexpected. I was seeking and actually finding Balance and Inner Poise while my spirit and body was shaking. In those early moments as I pondered whether I could do this and then decided "Yes, I can," I found acceptance even when I didn't flow the moves exactly as the yogi had stated. I found Strength inside ... I chose to be Brave when a part of me considered running for the door. 

And it was an exhilarating, amazing, self-actualizing experience.

I didn't do the moves exactly in order. I don't know if others did. I never look around during yoga. I'm very introverted on the mat. But I found a senses of joy as I created my own flow at my own pace. At every moment, I knew that all I had to do was offer the best of myself. How others view me or my best ... well, I can't control that. But in the storms of life, if I offer the best of myself, I will make it through. Just like I did that night.

Do you ever find yourself in the "wrong class?" Maybe, like me, you aren't in the wrong place at all. Maybe you are exactly where you are supposed to be in order to achieve or discover something you otherwise might miss or pass right by.

The question isn't whether you are in what you deem as "the wrong place" but what you will do while you are there. Can you suspend expectation, inner judgement and whatever holds you back from offering your best? Can you strip bare the facade and look deeper to embrace what the Universe wants to share with you? Can you look with your heart and cease wrestling with the reason in your head? Can you find the joy within discomfort? Can you hold on for a moment more? 

Can the wrong place actually be the right place?
                                                                                                            -- Jenni