Here is a lovely story written by Maureen Nery, a retired preschool director and a phenomenal woman. She thought we all may need this and enjoy. (Please share.)
Dedicated to the Greenville Yoga Teachers:
An Introduction, from one Point of View
The first thing to do is leave your ego on the shelf with your shoes and socks. Removing your shoes and socks will actually help lessen your ego a bit, as we are all a little more equal in our bare feet. You will get assistance in this very difficult endeavor (removing your ego, not your shoes and socks) from kind and gentle teachers, who will continually although gently remind you that you can stay in child’s pose for the whole class (has anyone ever actually done this?), only go to your level of comfort in a particular pose, and try to empty your mind of what has gone before and what will go after this moment.
After you have gathered the necessities – mat, blanket or two, block, strap and possibly one other instrument of torture they have lately invented – you go into the room with the wood floor, the three windows and the big blue wall. You can’t miss them, and they will become important later as you will see. Roll out your mat and put your things down as quietly as you can. The strap will inevitably hit the floor on its metal side – don’t worry about it, everyone has done it at least once. Lie down on your mat, or sit up and stretch if you wish. I rarely do this since it seems redundant, given what we are going to be doing for the next hour plus, but it seems to help some people, and that is fine. The teacher will come in shortly and begin class, by telling you which position to start in, or, if she’s in the mood, letting you choose.
It has been said that getting to your mat is the hardest part. Once you are there, you are not in much danger of leaving till it’s all over, because, for one thing, you would have to put your shoes and socks back on and then repair your bruised ego. Just leave them all out there in the lobby, relax, and try to enjoy yourself. There will be moments when you will not be believing that getting to your mat was hard compared to the pose you are trying to get into, when the twenty something beside you is in it perfectly, and breathing deeply. This would be a good time to take child’s pose.
The breathing is important, also paying attention to the breathing. The teachers will tell you all about it, because they really believe this stuff. If you pay attention to your breathing, it will all be a little easier. Then your breathing will be easier. And so it goes.
You will sometimes be told to “face the windows,” or “face the blue wall.” This is pretty self-evident, and even if you get confused, you will be assisted by the position of your fellow yogis, and you will be able to recover quickly. In fact, I have found my classmates to be invaluable when it comes to which way we are supposed to be facing, which foot is out, etc. Of course, there have been moments when the teacher gets confused with left and right. This means you can do whatever you damn well please, although I’m not sure cursing is acceptable in the yoga class. Whatever, you’ll be fine.
You will like some positions better than others. If you come to class with a friend, it will probably be the case that your friend will not like the same positions you do, or not as much. Every body is different – that’s part of the whole thing too. We’re all the same, we’re all different. Whew. No wonder it takes years to get this stuff.
There’s another side to yoga, beyond the physical and the emotional. It’s the spiritual. You can skip this part if you want, some people are touchy about it. But know that I’m not talking about religion. I’m talking about some sense that this is about more than just “me.” It’s about all of us, doing this together, breathing together, and the fact that it doesn’t matter if the twenty something is more supple. It doesn’t matter at all. It matters that we are here, in this calm blue room with three windows and the Buddha, wanting something more from life than what we often find outside. It’s here.
And I’m thankful for it.