This year has been a lot of firsts for me. It was the first time I wasn’t working at the same hedge fund in over ten years. It was the first time I lived outside of New York since college. And, it was the first time I started an exercise routine and actually stuck with it. My exercise of choice was yoga. Although I have managed to remain a loyal yogi, I was definitely nervous for my first time.
My introduction to yoga was a Vinyasa Flow class at Yoga Vida. My teacher was the renowned Hilaria Thomas Baldwin, as in Mrs. Alec Baldwin. Not intimidating at all. The class was only 65 minutes compared to the typical 90 minute class, so I could handle this celeb level of flowing and posing. Or, so I thought. The class was no joke. I had to take a few “water breaks” in order to keep up with my pretzel bodied classmates. About 58 minutes in (but who’s counting), I felt a major sigh of relief when Mrs. Baldwin said to prepare for “savasana”. Lay on your back, close your eyes, spread your arms and legs and breathe deeply. Now that I could do.
I returned to class a few days later. My hamstrings had finally stopped burning and I was determined to do better. And that’s what I did. I also noticed that on the walk home I felt different than when I arrived to class. It was hard to describe. I felt like I had a massage and sauna, ran 10 miles and slept 10 hours all in one. In other words, pure bliss. This intoxicated state is why I committed to my practice and began attending class on a regular basis.
Trying something new often opens doors and leads to new interests and goals. My new love affair with yoga lead me on a quest to go deeper. In addition to my headstand goal, I eventually became more in tune with the meditation aspect of yoga. To over simplify, meditation requires you to look inward in order to calm the mind. This concept was very new to me as I had always been super affected by the over crowded 6 train or the jerky driving cabbies. Over time, I started incorporating meditation techniques into my everyday life and have managed to improve my city living sensitivities. I would not have been exposed to this new tool without stepping foot in the yoga studio.
Deciding to try something new or choosing to make a change is the easy part; actually doing it is the hard part. And, doing it for the very first time is the hardest part. My first time doing yoga was pretty painful, but like most things, you get better with practice. So, go get the first time out of the way!