Growing up the way I did, I viewed yoga as Eastern witchcraft. I felt very strongly about it because of what I was taught to believe.

I thought it was all cultish meditation.

I’m not sure I can really pinpoint the exact moment my mind changed. It must have been when I realized that there was so much more to the world than the bubble I had lived in for 10 years.

The first time I even did a yoga pose was during Jillian Michaels’ Extreme Shed and Shred. She introduced a very common yoga flow,  Sun Salutations.

Now, I have a serious love/hate relationship with Jillian Michaels and her workout videos; but I trust that she knows exactly what she’s talking about.

I didn’t find anything weird or cultish about the sequence.

Then I had my son and my body changed… A lot! I needed something to get back down to my pre-pregnancy weight.

*Side Note: Still very far from that point in my life, but I’m healthy and active. That’s the important thing.*

I started searching for programs to lose weight, but I can barely keep up with my daily vitamins. I knew I would have to find something I could stick with.

Then a friend approached me and asked me if I would take a local yoga 101 class with her. It was one night a week for 8 weeks and only $50!

 

yoga on the beach

 

I was ecstatic. I told my husband that I wanted the class and yoga stuff for my birthday as the class started 2 days after. Like most men, he was happy to know what I wanted as a gift. He got my mom involved and I was all set to start with my new fitbit, yoga mat, yoga bag and three new outfits.

I’d done some YouTube yoga videos like Yoga With Adriene and found the first class very simple. I was too excited to let that dampen my enthusiasm for the class.

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We started with a full class of 15 people. As the class progressed, fewer people showed up. It ended with 5 of us. Only 3 of us had attended every single class.

Don’t be surprised if this happens at your first yoga class. People get what they want from the class, then may stop going.

 

Yoga is a practice which has the ability to change your life--Both inside and out. Click To Tweet

 

I never thought I would learn more than some poses and breathing techniques in my first yoga class.

I didn’t believe that I would leave knowing more about myself.

The classes actually made me a better person.

 

peace and yoga

 

Here are 5 Life Lessons I Learned in my First Yoga Class

I can let go of the things that are toxic in my life.

During a final meditation in Shavasana (corpse pose), I was listening to the reading from the instructor.

I started getting lost in my thoughts. I thought about my work life. I thought about the anxiety and stress I felt consistently. It was during this time that I realized what I really wanted to do with my life.

I want to work with small businesses. I am done with big corporations.

But I can’t leave my job now; especially now that I am pregnant with my second child. I have to side hustle and finish my degree before I can make a real move.

I can still be happy no matter what because I can keep in mind that this is just a time and season in my life.

I’m capable of so much more than what I can do today.
Every class, we learned a new pose. Some were new to me, some were poses I had already learned via YouTube.

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As the classes progressed, I found I was getting better. It was great!

I was more flexible in no time. I became comfortable laying still in my own thoughts for 10-15 minutes at a time.

I realized during some self reflection that it doesn’t matter if I am inadequate today, because excellence is something that must be practiced.

It takes hard work and dedication to get better at anything.

relax

Progress, not perfection is the key to a successful practice.

I may never become perfect in my practice. I may never build the upper body strength to do a full handstand.

But if I continue to practice, I will get better. It is inevitable.

If there is no struggle, there is no progress.

-Frederick Douglass


Judgement of the body and others gets me nowhere.

When I first started yoga, I didn’t think much about my form so much as the way I felt during the practice.

As I got better, I began to look around. I started to compare myself and my progress to other people.

There was someone across the way who would get complimented by the instructor and I would try to copy her form. But her body is completely different than mine. Why would I compare myself to her?

I’m not her. I can only be myself.

Judging her (not in a negative way) and judging myself (in a negative way) wasn’t getting me anywhere!

I found that when I stopped judging others and myself, I began to improve. I had stopped looking around and began to look within.

In a mind filled with anxiety, I can find peace on the mat and beyond.

I deal with anxiety. That will never be a secret from my readers, because I know I am not alone.

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When I started the class, I was dealing with a lot of anxiety over work. It’s always work!

I was finding myself thinking about work during my yoga time. That is never a good thing. After just two classes, the instructor mentioned that you should leave your problems with your shoes in the hallway; and you can pick them up when you leave.

I started only focusing on the practice and my breathing while I was on the mat. Have you ever tried to focus on breathing a certain way while doing yoga poses? It is very consuming.

When I began to leave my problems at the door, I found that I was able to better relax during my practice.

I also found that I could leave the stress of the work day in my car when I got home at the end of the day.

What!?!

I realized that I didn’t have to think about that stress when I was with my family.

It was so liberating!

flowers

 

These are all very important life lessons that I never thought I would learn from an 8 week yoga class, but I did.

I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Do you practice yoga?

Have you learned anything simple or profound during your practice which has changed you?

Comment below to share your experiences.

Yoga has seriously changed my life! Check out these 5 life lessons I learned from an 8 week yoga class.

Author: Alesia

Alesia is a working mom who fights her way through life, depression, and just plain stupidity. She strives to show others that it is possible to be a bad-ass while you feel like you’re losing your mind. A Bottle of Sanity is a space in which working moms may find easy recipes, parenting tips, and sanity.


Alesia

Alesia is a working mom who fights her way through life, depression, and just plain stupidity. She strives to show others that it is possible to be a bad-ass while you feel like you’re losing your mind. A Bottle of Sanity is a space in which working moms may find easy recipes, parenting tips, and sanity.

16 Comments

Nichole Snellgrove · January 8, 2017 at 4:21 am

I have been wanting to take yoga classes now for some time, because I think it will help me relax more! I will get on you tube and find a video I can do from home. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Alesia · January 8, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    Hey Nichole! I definitely recommend just searching “yoga” on YouTube and seeing what comes up. Most of those videos are geared toward home practice so you should be able to find something pretty quickly. Thanks for reading!

Melissa · January 8, 2017 at 12:38 am

Yoga is such a wonderful practice. It can be so much more than just exercise. I am glad you enjoyed it!

    Alesia · January 8, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Melissa, Thanks for commenting! I don’t think people realize how much really goes into the practice. It’s definitely more than just exercise.

Stephanie · January 7, 2017 at 3:59 pm

Congrats on your first class! I love doing yoga, but the toddler is making my at-home practice difficult because he loves to jump on my back during down dog. I call it “balance work,” but it does take away from the relaxing/meditative component of yoga.

    Alesia · January 7, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Thanks Stephanie! I totally get what you mean. Thankfully my son calls downward dog “tunnel time.” Haha I try to do it when my son is sleeping. Good luck!

jehava · January 7, 2017 at 3:11 pm

Wow I love the lessons that you learned! So inspirational and true. I really need to get back into it!

    Alesia · January 7, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Jehava, thanks for checking out my post! I took your advice from your recent post and threw on some yoga pants and did a 30 minute yoga flow. Gotta start the day off right! Good luck getting back into yoga. I’m sure you won’t regret it.

Sane Mama · January 7, 2017 at 3:23 am

Great lessons. Wow, I really need to get to yoga. It keeps being one of my goals, but…

    Alesia · January 7, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    You got this mama! Even if you just find a quick 30 minute beginner video on YouTube, it will be worth every second. I even did one on a night I was tossing and turning. I went to the living room and found that it helped me sleep through the whole night! You won’t regret it!

Vicki @ Babies to Bookworms · January 7, 2017 at 3:22 am

I have recently started getting much more into yoga and I agree with these! It totally helps me let go of the toxic stuff and just be present.
Vicki @ Babies to Bookworms recently posted…Resolve to Change Your Outlook with These Books on Happiness!My Profile

    Alesia · January 7, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Awesome Vicki! I’m so glad yoga has been helping you be present. Good luck in your practice!

Meg · January 6, 2017 at 10:17 pm

I deal with anxiety too, and these are all the reasons I LOVE yoga as well. I haven’t done it much in awhile, and your post reminded me of how good it is when I do it!

    Alesia · January 7, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    Meg, you are not alone in your anxiety. Sadly those of us who deal with it usually keep it to ourselves or our close friends. Yoga is definitely worth getting back into even if it’s a quick yoga flow. Good luck! I started Yoga With Adriene’s 31 days of yoga for January and it’s great. It’s on YouTube . I hope it helps.

Kim · January 6, 2017 at 8:26 pm

I think it’s time I try Yoga! I have been wanting to for so long! I’d love to do it once a week – I know it will be a great alternative to my workouts/running as well as help my anxiety!

    Alesia · January 6, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Kim, yoga has been so beneficial and will definitely help with anxiety. Some days I only get through 10-15 minutes. There are yoga videos for all time frames. Good luck!

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