my first time

jessie at yoga tree
Do you remember what it was like to take your first yoga class? Foujan takes us back to the day where her love for yoga began.

Like your first day of high school, your first kiss, your first day on a new job, or even a first date; there's a sense of excitement, nervousness and curiosity that makes you feel alive. My first yoga class was pretty much scripted to fall along these same 'first time' lines.

A friend of mine convinced me to attend a Bikram class. I come from a team sports background, and flexibility really was never my strong suit. So standing next to my friend - who used to be a dancer - and trying to do a simple forward bend to touch my toes was a bit embarrassing. The class was filled with yogis who easily balanced on one foot and could fold in half with little push (or physical pain).

I felt out of place... for the first 15 minutes.

Then something clicked. As I sat cross-legged - my blood pressure had dropped and I needed a bit of a break - and watched everyone else balance on their seemingly effortless yet completely graceful Dancer's pose, I realized that no one even paid me any mind. The fact that I was taking a break didn't bother them or their practice. Their energy was focused on something uniquely their own, and I was completely relieved and very intrigued.

Do one thing a day that scares you! It doesn't matter how difficult that one thing is, or how much energy it takes. Yoga has profoundly changed my life, and I'm certain it will yours too. Just give yourself that chance to become truly at ease with the energy and realize that you're just one person in this great, big, giant pool that is the universe, and that stepping out of your comfort zone and challenging your body, mind and soul is the only way you'll ever know the greatness you can achieve.

We're not meant for mediocrity, we're meant for greatness. Be great; even if all that means is stepping into your first yoga class and learning the beauty of your first savasana.


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I remember my first class and my knees were shaking and I didn’t know anyone, I just remembered to have a sense of humor and to not be too competitive. But like you 15 minutes into it I forgot I didn’t know anyone and marveled at what I couldn’t do, and looking at the ease at which others could do what i was struggling with, and both sensing everyones concentration and just feeling the breathing through the room. Thanks for the post. 2 yrs later I notice the newer people and smile and try to make them feel more comfortable and staying within my own practice but also giving a little energy their way.

Comment by brandon — December 15, 2009 @ 9:23 pm

I don’t recall my first time… which is strange. but i do have a lot of friends and family who are hesitant to give yoga a shot so i’m going to send this blog post their way! thanks for sharing =)

Comment by Marisa — December 16, 2009 @ 2:14 am

I remember the feeling of strength that I had never felt before from any other workout, the strength in my body, balance, and breath but more importanly the strength that I felt when I was finally able to look at myself and not adjust my clothes or hair and just be.

Comment by Kristin Marie — December 16, 2009 @ 8:19 am

I don’t remember my first ever time, but I remember my first time back after a long break (about 5 years).

I was stiff, and weak, and pathetic! It was power yoga and I spent about half the class in child’s pose. After a couple of months though it was all there – and I went on to train as a Pilates instructor.

That one yoga class was really the starting point. The teacher was so friendly and encouraging, and really made me believe that I could exercise again, even though in my mind I was so old and stiff and achey that I was ‘past it’. It turned out that the aches were all a result of the not exercising, and since I started I’ve never looked back.

Comment by Diane — December 16, 2009 @ 8:41 am

I remember my first time, and like you it was at Bikram – why not just jump into the deep end hey?
I just wanted to say that I feel you captured the essence of the first yoga experience. The next time I try to get my friends to come to a class, I’ll give them your blog. Well done.


Comment by Rob — December 16, 2009 @ 8:44 am

Oooooh yes. Remember it clear as day. Best day of my whole life =) I can’t imagine where I’d be now without that first yoga class…

Comment by Courtney (The Hungry Yogini) — December 16, 2009 @ 9:07 am

Thanks fdr sharing, I am a yoga nuts, and sometimes when I am feel that I need to improve I just have to remember the first day of yoga and how much I have accomplished, not only physically but mentally

Comment by Jo — December 16, 2009 @ 9:17 am

:D I had just started working for lululemon and one of my fellow lemons took me to a class because I was so scared!! Funny thing is, the class turned out to be a Yoga Pilates Level II … I learnt early on that yoga can kick your ass!

Comment by Jenna — December 16, 2009 @ 9:40 am

Yoga can kick your ass, but its always important to keep it fun. Doing something that scares you can sometime mean challenging yourself physically but more often it is simply getting over our fears of embarrassment from others. Yoga is fun, and there is no judgement. That’s the beauty of it. Falling out of Dancer’s is not the same as missing the game winning 3 pointer at the buzzer. Only, once we surrender all pressure to be a certain way, do begin to flow deeper into a meaningful practice.

Comment by Brian — December 16, 2009 @ 2:42 pm

First class – 2 months pregnant, living in Cape Town, Iyengar studio – such a fantastic teacher that I use many of her tips still today when I teach classes. I always came out of class with more energy than when I went in. Still remember the first time kicking up into Shoulder Stand – so empowering and nuturing.

Comment by Donna Freeman — December 28, 2009 @ 1:09 pm

Hatha in a high school fitness class. In a room full of beginners, I wasn’t in over my head, which was a good feeling. And the workout certainly felt amazing! Probably the best thing I’ve ever done for my flexibility, and I’d never been so relaxed as in that ending savasana. One of the greatest experiences of my life!

Comment by Rei — April 25, 2010 @ 9:11 pm

Having just moved, I’ve yet to take a yoga class in my new city. It’s scary to go in not knowing anyone. Thanks for this bit of encouragement. I’ll go to the next class :) I heard the people there are really friendly, but it’s still unnerving!

Comment by Lora — September 24, 2010 @ 8:46 pm

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