When I go to yoga class I tend to arrive pretty early for several reasons. I like to just lay on the mat and relax, let my thoughts wonder. It helps my body to get adjusted to the heat in a hot yoga class and, lastly, it gives me the opportunity to find a spot in the last row, away from the mirrors and the other yogi’s eyes. I know, as much as yoga boosted my self-esteem I still have a long path to walk to just love myself completely.
On Tuesday I had class at 7 pm. Since I live just 5 minutes away from the studio I decided to leave as always a half an hour or 25 minutes before the class. It was my first time and I forgot that traffic can be really mean at that hour. I got stuck in the traffic for fifteen minutes and once I’ve arrived at the studio the last row was full. I don’t know which kind of face I did but inside I felt like I was trapped. The second row was full too. The only spots available were in the first row. PANIC.
Since I had no choice, still panicking, I rolled my mat in front of the mirrors. I grabbed my block and a strap and then I sat down. I didn’t even look at myself in the mirror, I laid down and started to try to stop the anxiety moment and focusing on my upcoming practice.
The class started and surprisingly, I started to create a good connection with the mirror, with the image reflected. It wasn’t perfect but the mirror, the one that I thought was my enemy, helped me correcting those poses that I was doing wrong. I aligned my hips better, I tried to make my pose look like the teacher’s one. The time was passing by and I gained so much confidence that in mountain pose, instead of looking at a distant point, I was looking at myself, in my eyes. I felt so fierce. I was so focused. The mirror that I was so afraid of started to become my friend throughout the practice. At the end, while I was sipping my water, I was actually smiling at my reflection.
What did I learn from Tuesday practice? I learned that what I fear the most may be good for me at the point that next practice I’ll just put myself in the front row, no matter if there are spots available in the last row. Because I overcame a fear and now I don’t want to put myself in the back row anymore. I want to stay in the front and focus just to be better in my practice, focusing just on my gaze I kept tree pose twice, a thing that never happened before. I’ve learned that overcome fears can be a turning point in your life, not just in the yoga practice.