A Black Lotus Blossom: My First Yoga Experience
A tall chocolate beauty walks into a local yoga studio. A sea of earthy Jade and sweat wicking Lululemon mats greet her. She unrolls her bright purple Target mat and throws down a turquoise green microfiber towel, and sits down. The reflection in the mirror—a singular chocolate chip in a batch of sugar cookies. She smiles into the mirror, and a few women smile back. I was this girl. A little over two years ago, I walked into my first yoga class. I’d taken a class here and there in PE or was dragged along by a friend, but I’d never really enjoyed or connected with it. It didn’t feel right. I was an athlete and yoga was just stretching. It wasn’t “hardcore” enough, but I was wrong. Yoga is a different kind of power.
I will never forget that first heated Vinyasa Flow class. On that day, I opened my mind. The poses were hard. I wasn’t aligned properly, but my instructor Kim was patient, kind, and encouraging. She had a way of making you feel like you were the only person there. I was truly engaging with myself. Breath heavy. Sweat dripping to the mat.
Breathing into poses was foreign. I’d never realized how disconnected I was from my own body. I remember praying for it to end. It was so hot. It was so difficult. It was so different.
Kim spoke. Her words washed over me and awakened someone I thought I lost. She talked that day about being good to your body. She shared about her eating disorder; and the mother and media that drove it. Kim talked about the body as a gift—this life as a gift. She believed younger generations of women need body positive role models. Kim challenged us to be them. I wept in savasana that day. Tears falling down my face into the pools of sweat I’d created. Becoming a salty sweet patch of ground to blossom from as we returned to our final OM.
My essence breathed a new life. I left powerful. I left renewed. I’d found a community, a place where the only thing that mattered was your mat, your mind, and your body.