One of my students, Rhoslyn Jones, recently posted a piece on her private blog that I wanted to share with you all. I was so touched by it. Thank you, Rhoslyn.
By Rhoslyn Jones
I used to be a snob when it came to yoga. I figured that if you weren't sweating, struggling and in pain, then it wasn't a workout. The way I grew up, exercise meant running until you threw up. It's the Canadian way. I always thought that if I tried yoga, it would have to be incorporated into my schedule as a last resort. I would do everything else first, work out at the gym as much as possible and if there was time at the end of the week I would maybe try and kinda sorta attempt to go to a yoga class. Maybe. Wow. What a smart plan.
So predictably that didn't work out too well. Who do you know who does every little thing they've set out to do for a week? Nobody. Well, maybe my sister. She's kind of a superhero. I do the best I can each week and just try to do better the next week. But I never found time for yoga.
I think it was fate that led me to become hooked on yoga. About a year ago everything in my world seemed to go south. The details don't really matter at this point, but basically my love life blew up in my face, I left my management company, my visa work permit was denied...twice, I got audited...twice, my Dad and I got in a relationship ending fight, and I had no upcoming singing work. At all. Zero. Zip. Also, my roommate kindly let me know that he didn't want me living in my apartment anymore. Awesome. When it rains, it pours right? All this crap took a big toll on a lot of things in my life, but mostly on my confidence. It just vanished. Disappeared and I didn't really know where it went, or more importantly, how to find it again.
I realized that I needed to try something new. I'd always been curious about yoga...I had tried pilates when I lived in Philadelphia, and I was into Bikram yoga for a hot second (pun intended) while I lived in New York. I also figured that San Francisco was the city of yogis. I started searching nearby for studios. The first one to come up was Aha Yoga. They were the closest to my home address and had high ratings on yelp. They also had pretty pictures of the studio. And a new student deal. Bingo. I gathered up what was left of my courage and went to Tom's Vinyasa Flow class. I was the first person there as I was anxious to get the lay of the land and not feel even more awkward than I knew I would. Tom Lee greeted me and he was warm and open and kind...and I got the nervous sweats. Here's a picture of Tom: He's the one shaped like a pretzel...
Yeah...so that's not intimidating at all. Haha. Honestly, he made me feel so welcome and comfortable. The class was terrifying and full of marina girls in their sports bras and hot pants. They'd touch their nose to their own ass and I smiled to myself and thought, "Well I could do that too if my boobs weren't giant spirit orbs." My first yoga class was sweaty, humbling, and completely wonderful. I could not have asked for a better teacher for my maiden voyage into the land of yoga.
The next day I tried a class with Christie. I loved Christie right away. She has a face that is full of light and joy and happiness and I felt like I could tell her my life story the moment I saw her. I was nervous and a little shell shocked from the soreness I felt from the day before in Tom's class, but Christie came up to me on and said, "Hi! We haven't met before..I'm Christie." I nervously replied, "I'm Rhoslyn and I really don't know what I'm doing. I'm really at the beginning." She put her hand on my arm and said, "Aren't we all, Rhoslyn? It's all good!" I nearly burst into tears. That's how fragile I was. Say something nice to me and I was a puddle of girly emotion on the yoga studio floor. Great. Needless to say, Christie's class was wonderful. Still terrifying, but so wonderful. I was in love. I'd found two AMAZING teachers and I felt great. Or at least I felt better. I knew right away that this was the ticket to finding my happiness, my confidence, my intention again.
That was in August of 2010. A year and a bit later, I'm a complete addict. I've become friends with Tom and Christie and have tried a bunch of other teachers. They're all great, but those two have a special place in my heart. I feel like they found me, in a way. I've since read that people search for years for a yoga teacher who inspires them, aids them, encourages them. I found mine in two days. Here is Christie. She's the one who looks like a Goddess and like she can take on the world in Warrior Two...
I am so thankful for them both, and for yoga. It's a place and time that's just for me. When I'm there I have no inhibitions, no expectations, and no struggle. This freedom helps me to incorporate some of these things into my life off of my mat as well. Their warmth and love have helped me see that no matter how shitty everything seems, I am exactly where I'm supposed to be. I'm in this seemingly shitty position for a reason and everything will pass. I think that the reason that I find it so life-changing is that it is a complete physical, mental, and emotional journey. I never really believed that we held on to so much tension in our joints and tendons and muscles. Believe me, WE DO. So, sometimes I end up doing what Heidi and I like to call, "the ugly cry" at the end of a yoga session. I stopped trying to stifle it. Especially in those first few months. Out of nowhere, something would release (I'm trying hard not to make a fart joke right now) and I would be in tears on the floor like an idiot. Christie said once, "It's just something that needed to be let go. Something that wasn't serving you." She's right. Between the physical demands and the psychological workout and the readings that Christie does at the end of each class, it ended up feeling a lot like church...and therapy...and a workout. How awesome is that? Heidi and I came up with the title, yurch. Combining yoga and church into one horribly inelegant word. But it works.
So, thank you Christie and Tom and Aha Yoga. I am so thankful for you. You have all changed my life for the better and I look forward to many more years of happy yoga times.