That first step is a doozie.

When I planned to take my first yoga class, I “slept in” for the 5:30 a.m. gym-based yoga class half a dozen times before my husband finally pep-talked me into getting into yoga pants and into the car. I second guessed myself several times on the drive over, and almost gave up and went to Starbucks until I realized Starbucks wasn’t open yet. Afraid of the embarrassment I’d face in front of my spouse if I tried to sneak back into the house, I decided to head over to the gym.

Unfortunately, my friend had told the entire staff that I was coming to yoga, so when I tried, alternately, to hide in the bathroom and to go get in the hot tub instead, they dragged me over to meet the teacher.

I was cornered, and I couldn’t get out of it. I had to take the class. I was weak in the knees, my mouth was dry, and I felt like an imposter. I went to the very back of the dark room and tried to blend in with the floor, and…I was hooked. I have been practicing yoga for years since that one fateful morning (which I tried like crazy to not let happen).

Fortunately for me, the hardest part of yoga was getting past that threshold of the yoga room. After that, I was in love, and now nothing can separate me from my passion for all things yoga.

So, what I’m saying is, I get it.

You’ve signed up for a yoga class several times, but something always comes up at the last minute. Something at work needs your attention, or maybe you feel a tickle in the back of your throat. Suddenly, your car needs cleaned out, or you forgot that you have to wash your hair. You start to drive over to the studio, but then you turn around. Maybe you even get to the parking lot before you realize something pressing needs done.

The whole way over, you’ve wracked your brain, looking for that one “out” that will allow you to cancel. Come to think of it, you’ve just kind of…chickened out.

Don’t worry. This just means you’re completely and utterly human. It’s human nature to hesitate when starting something you’ve never done before. It’s also human nature to make several false starts before you really commit to that new thing.

No one likes to be the new kid. That the feeling goes away once you cross the threshold is small comfort when you’re contemplating the front door of the studio.

So I want to make sure that you know two things, if nothing else:

  1. I’m not judging you for having trouble getting to class. I’ve been there. When it finally happens, it will be one of the biggest acts of courage you have ever carried out. Each step you take is one step closer, and I’m proud of you each time you try.
  2. When you do come in, we’re definitely not going to be mean to you. You might have awkward moments, as we all do (I’m a prime example of that!), but I swear to you, this group of yogis is the best you’ll ever meet. We’re all just a bunch of goofballs, learning how to breathe and move and find more peace of mind.

If you haven’t been but really want to come try yoga, keep trying! It will happen, and when it does, it will be such a sweet day.


Written by Jena Barber, who still has trouble trying things the first, and sometimes second and third, time.


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