First Impressions from a Yoga First-Timer
Brand new yoga students often feel anxiety about coming to a studio yoga class for the first time: being able to keep up, what to wear, whether they’ll be the only one who wobbles in balances. Read on to see how one student was welcomed to her first class and how the experience has impacted her since.
Yoga District strives to make our studios a welcoming place, where students of all ages, races, shapes, sizes, genders, and creeds can come to practice together. With a variety of styles and lots of diverse teachers, we hope everyone can find a class they’re comfortable in and that they can come to call Yoga District their studio.
I just wanted to share my feedback about a class I took on Monday with Cara G. at Yoga District’s H Street location. To provide some context, I have recently gained weight as a result of stress from work, the illness of a close family member and balancing a demanding full time job with working on my dissertation for my doctoral degree. Additionally, I have been experiencing back pain which has made running on the treadmill (my normal go-to option for working out) very undesirable.
I live on H & 3rd NE, so I’ve passed the H St. studio location many times. One of the things that has always impressed me is that when I walk by and see students waiting outside for class, they have been of all different shapes, sizes and ethnicities. After talking to someone representing the studio at the H Street Festival and after a particularly stressful weekend, I decided to give it a try.
At first, when I walked in, I was very worried. Not only did I worry about being able to keep up (I’ve done a few yoga videos several years ago but never a class), I also worried about being out of shape and being the only person of color. Well, I needn’t have worried! There were plenty of students of all different body types and all different ethnicities. Cara either heard me talking with the person on the mat next to me or just took the initiative to introduce herself to me and welcomed me by telling me that there was nothing to worry about. She explained that I would see everyone in the class do something different, due to varying levels, and that it was ok for me to do whatever was comfortable. Her advice was to “just have fun and do you” and it was incredibly reassuring. She has such a beautiful, gentle spirit! She opened up the class with a very personal, touching story about approaching yoga and life with a vulnerable heart while embracing your total badass self! It was just what I needed to bring relaxation and peace to my mind after such a difficult day.
I sweated through the practice, pushed myself, reflected and was glad I did. Cara thanked me for coming when class was over and told me I had done a great job. I was even encouraged by a couple of fellow students to come back. My only complaint is that it felt like it ended too soon!
I apologize for such a long-winded email, but I wanted to express my deepest appreciation for the warm and peaceful place you have created which has been a step in restoring my body and mind. I’ve lived/worked in DC off and on for twelve years, and this experience has been the most positive social interaction I have ever had here! I’ve already signed up for another class and plan to make this a part of my weekly routine. Thank you, a special shout out of gratitude to Cara, and I really look forward to more classes in the future.
With peace and gratitude,