Yoga 

Sitting with my legs crossed on the floor, Eden reminds us to keep our spines straight. Sitting up tall, mindful of my breath, I know everything will soon be right in my world.

We move to standing. Here in mountain pose, we root our feet, push the crowns of our heads further toward the sky, roll back our shoulders with our arms straight at our sides. Soft, relaxing music is playing in the background as we begin our sun salutation. I can hear everyone’s breathing, the music, and gentle reminders from Eden to do things like square your hips or tuck your elbows closer to your body.

The movement is what my body needs; what it’s been craving. As I fold, shift, release, muscles that haven’t been used for some time find motion and stretch. As we progress through poses and postures, my mind clears and becomes free. The only thing on it is the movement and keeping balance. The world goes away. All that matters in those moments are my body, mind, and fellow yogis.

Eden is our teacher, our instructor, and our inspiration. She can do some pretty amazing things with her body. There have been times over the past few months where she’s told me how to do something and shown me how to do it, and I thought that she was crazy. I knew my body would never do that. I’m overweight, have little flexibility, and minimal strength. However, Eden walks us through. With her faith in us and her guiding instruction, I am able to do what she says I can.

After her proving to me that my body is capable of doing what my mind tells it to, I feel a confidence I haven’t felt in a long time. After being sick and everything else I’ve been through in recent years, I feel like I have some semblance of control over my body.

When I attended class for the first time and did a forward fold, my fingertips did not meet my toes. Now, four months later, on a good day, all fingers touch the floor. My progress makes me smile.

Eden walks us through more poses urging us to lift, tilt, or reach. She praises us, corrects our posture. I try to feel how my body reacts as we switch from pose to pose. I’m not as flexible as my fellow yogis, but I am pretty good with balance.

With a smile, Eden walks us through a cool down. She speaks softly as we prepare for savasana. Becoming limp and relaxed to rest, we lie back with closed eyes and feel how our breath moves through our body. The world is tuned out, and we tune in to ourselves. It amazes me how sometimes this feels better than a full night’s sleep. Like all good things, savasana has to come to an end.

I’ve heard people talk about an exercise buzz or runner’s high. I’d never experienced anything like that until the first time I experienced savasana. It’s a lovely feeling.

I’ve practised yoga in the past on my own. There is a completely different experience to be had with a good teacher and a class that encourages each other. I leave class feeling accomplished and more comfortable with my body.  

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