Three years ago, on a dark Thursday evening in November, I walked into a community room in the back of the library and joined a beginner’s yoga class with 3 other people. I was so nervous. I knew I needed to take care of my body and I decided that Yoga was a good place to start. After 19 years of being a mother to 8 babies, I finally had the space to do something for myself. My youngest was nearly 3 years old and I had just had a miscarriage (my 3rd one) and was finding myself spiraling into a bad space. Something had to change. That something was me.
Jessica was a wonderful instructor. She was patient. She taught me to breath. She taught me to work hard but knew when she has pushed me far enough. And at the end of class there is time to just be. To melt into the floor. To breathe. To pray. No one to poke me or ask me a question or disturb me in any way. The smell of essential oils on my palm ties me to the feeling of peace as we end the class. And Namaste reminds me that there is a light in me just as there is in everyone I meet.
When I think back to that first yoga class it brings tears to my eyes. It was there I began the journey to rediscover myself. It was there that I began to value time spent in my body. It is there I learned to pay more attention to myself. To breath. To correct my posture. To look for the light.
My struggle with depression is not over. It comes and goes. My life has changed in so many ways since that night. I now have a therapist and take medication to help me. I regularly have time to myself to write and work through my thoughts and ideas. I have learned to speak up more instead of shutting down. I am a part of a class at church that is helping me face my challenges and learn to grow as a part of a group. I still have a long way to go but for me that first step was joining a yoga class.
Three years later, I still love going to my yoga class almost every week. Jessica now has her own beautiful studio. The class is still small. Sometimes, I am the only one there. Week after week, she challenges me, helps me to improve, strengthens me. And at the end of class we take a moment to melt, to just be. Oils that linger on my hands remind me of my time in class. Once again, I am reminded that there is light in each one of us.