Yoga For Beginners

Cate at Rosemary Court Yoga Studio

I am a perfectionist. For those of you who don’t know me, I really like things to be in order— the house, the food, the car, the clothes, or the workout. I am not saying I’m perfect, because for those of you that do know me, we all know it isn’t so!

I am simply saying that sometimes the desire for things to be perfect can get in the way.

For years, and let me emphasize years – through college at a great place, Saint Rose, where I met some of my best friends; through meeting the love of my life and relocating from a small town to another small town (this time in the mountains); through learning how to run (which was not easy, but that’s a story for another day) and donating blood for the first time, I avoided yoga like the plague.

The perfectionist had overtaken all systems. I couldn’t try yoga, although I knew it would be perfect for me, because of the excuses that were in the way: I wasn’t in shape. I felt nervous about being in a class where people would be looking at me and judging my clumsiness. I was not in a comfortable place with my mind and body. I felt unattractive and disconnected.

I used to be a dancer in another life, but that discipline and means of expression still held great appeal, like a life force replete with what I was supposed to be doing.

I bit the bullet. It had been long enough. I was sick of making excuses. It was time. It was finally time to discover what yoga was all about.

Enter Rosemary Court. It popped up on a Google search and it was close by. When I pulled in for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised. Here I was, downtown. Nearby: a school, a few furniture stores and abandoned buildings, yet this little courtyard made me feel like I was in another world. A blink and I was back at Saint Rose in the sunny, tulip-filled spring, where I met my girlfriends. Another look and I was in the Berkshires on a dandelion-seed-floating afternoon on the blanketed grass with Kevin. Then I was back in Florida, with all the things that had kept me from trying yoga…and all the things that had brought me to the courtyard that day.

What I found, over just a few months, was that everything that had been keeping me from trying yoga was the polar opposite of what it was all about. Yoga is healing. It is all about what your body needs, what your mind needs and what your spirit needs. Yoga is welcoming. You don’t need to be in shape to practice. Yoga is non-judgmental; other practitioners are mostly self-aware. In fact, focused stretching and meditating are great ways to reach a low-stress state of mind and focus on what’s important to you in that present moment. It’s beautiful, really – reconnecting to your inner self with purpose.

Now I am a die-hard yoga lover. I would go every day if I could. What can I say? I am not letting myself get in the way anymore.