I discovered yoga almost 10 years ago. September 11, 2001, to be exact. I was at a case management conference with my co-workers. I was with one of them waiting for our first session to start. The instructor walked in and informed us that terrorists took over planes and flew them into the Twin Towers. It was just after 9am Eastern time. He used the announcement to segue into the topic for the session, Gangs.
The information about the terrorists didn’t really sink in until later when the organizers of the conference ended the session early and called everyone to gather outside the ballroom. The hotel set up several TVs so we could watch news coverage. Another co-worker was trying to reach her brother in Manhattan with no luck. That is when it really hit.
We were served an early lunch and the conference was cancelled. My co-worker got a hold of her brother before we left and our boss told us to go ahead and go home because no one was focused on work at the office. The conference was in-town and the hotel was about a mile from my apartment so I didn’t have far to go. I sat in front of the TV watching the news for a long time. Crying. The enormity of it overwhelmed me as I thought about the lives lost, the loved ones left behind to grieve, and the bravery of the passengers of Flight 93 who refused to go down without fighting back. I had to get my mind off of it.
I started flipping stations and stopped on a yoga program with a particularly excitable instructor singing along with the music playing and saying things like, “If you hate me right now, it means you’re doing it right.” I knew what yoga was, but I had never done it before. What I loved was there were students of all ability levels. I could look at the least flexible of them and feel like I was doing just fine.
I had to tape some of his shows because sometimes it would be on and sometimes it wouldn’t. Plus, it was on at 6am. I wasn’t fond of waking up that early for yoga. I could wake up later and do it without all the commercial breaks. Or I could do it after work. I did find that if I did it in the morning, I was more awake and alert throughout the day. No sleepies. No, “When is nap time?”
So, yoga has been an on and off thing for me since then. Until now. Two months ago my new doctor told me at my first visit that she wanted me doing more yoga. That was all the motivation I needed to make sure I was doing more of it. We don’t have the VCR hooked up so I can’t use my tape of Inhale shows, but I have a collection of Gaiam DVDs that I use. I never do the same routine two days in a row and I do about 20 minutes in the morning on the days I work even if I work later. Again, I’m more alert when I do it before work even if I’m sleep deprived. Who needs caffeine after a good yoga session? Not me! I’m still not very flexible but I don’t care. It’s having a positive effect on my body and mind.
One day, I hope Steve Ross will come out with some DVDs. I do love his playful demeanor which makes it so much more fun.
If you happen to be in Louisville, check out my friend, Jodie, at Supreme Peace Yoga. I never got a chance to do yoga with her before moving and hope to drive down one day to spend a little yoga time with her.