Conquering Mind Over Matter on a Yoga Mat

A teaching moment during private lessons. My instructor, Donna Ortner, is incredibly supportive and encouraging.

After 25 years of thinking about it, I finally joined a yoga class.

There’s nothing more humbling than what you discover while on a yoga mat. I discovered many things, such as the fact that any flexibility or limberness that I might once have had no longer exists. And no matter how dry your feet may be, don’t apply lotion before class or you might actually hurt yourself. Also, make sure you know what time class actually starts. Otherwise, you’ll get there late and end up on the front row. My cellulite was not anything I wanted others to see. Ugh!

There were times when it whipped my backside as I lumbered through the Sun Salutation A. My knees and wrists were challenged beyond their abilities, as they had to support my body. They weren’t designed to handle that amount of weight. Every twinge was like a slap for every donut I’ve ever eaten.

Now that I have finished the class, I’ve signed up for private lessons to whip this bodacious body into gear. The private lessons will help me gain strength and flexibility that I need to move forward. I’m also learning to breathe. For the first couple of weeks I focused on getting my body into the various poses while forgetting to breath, which is backwards. Concentrate on breathing, then worry about where your body parts are. Besides, my parts aren’t going to go anywhere they’re supposed to for a while, so I might as well learn to breathe.

I have also discovered something I wasn’t prepared for. While lying in repose after a challenging session, it dawned on me: “What the heck am I doing to my body?” Despite my proclamations about healthy eating, yoga had taught me that I’m nothing more than a tired, overweight, middle aged woman who can only touch her toes while dreaming. For some, their yoga journey would have stopped there. But for me, my yoga journey began. I’m thrilled to have such an encouraging teacher who understands my challenges and who thinks I have a beautiful Warrior Pose. It will take me years to transform this body. But thankfully, with yoga I’m adding years to my life. So bring it!

If you’re interested in yoga, I strongly encourage you to find a class. There is nothing more encouraging than a real person standing in front of you telling you that you’re accomplishing something. In Murray, we’re blessed to have Balance Yoga Studio. Not only are the instructors caring and challenging, the atmosphere is amazing. Check out their Facebook page and then give them a call. You won’t regret it. If I can do this – so can you.



5 thoughts on “Conquering Mind Over Matter on a Yoga Mat

  1. Great and true experience! Sounds better than I could possibly describe Bill and my attempt to move after a day of Mr. Dinh’s UBC Class!

    I am definitely going to check out yoga studio and do they teach Tai Chi?

    Thanks again for sharing! Ditto on all shared! I think that’s why they call Bill and I Seniors:)

  2. I’m so moved by your willingness to share your experience Mary Anne! You’re just like so many of us who come to the mat for the first time.
    Yoga practice does offer the opportunity for us to see places in ourselves where we could be giving a little more self love, but ultimately along the way, we learn how to be ok with exactly where we are. And the added benefit is as we go along that self love is nurtured and becomes a priority, and we begin to feel strong, healthy, and at peace. : )

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