(With interjections from Katie Witherspoon)
I have always made fun of people who do yoga; it’s just in my nature.
There’s something about awkwardly posing on a rug in front of a dozen other people that simply does not appeal to me. But somehow I let Katie talk me into going to the West Quad yoga class. Maybe the idea of salvaging my horrible day or the promise of some comedic relief appealed to me, but either way, I was a little worried for the welfare of my body... and whether or not I would be able to move it the next day.
I rolled out my yoga mat and looked at Katie doubtfully as she sat there, legs crossed, hands on her knees, trying very hard to look like she knew what she was doing. I, on the other hand, was focused on trying not to fidget. When the instructor invited us to do yoga with her, my skepticism increased further. I was a little curious—why would we be here if we didn’t want to do yoga? Regardless, I accepted her invitation with a laugh-filled “ohm,” and then... She taught us how to breathe.
Of course we had been breathing before, but we started the breathing exercises where we attempted to focus on yoga, and not the horrible day Katie and I had just had. The one filled with rain and a totally bogus awards ceremony. I’m not bitter or anything.
Slowly, but surely, we went through all the poses, and I began to stretch my body to new limits. A total relaxation came over me, and nothing from that day mattered. I was learning about my body, my balance.
Religion is not a partner event. But apparently yoga is. Either way, what the two have in common is this: it is ultimately about you, and about how you feel. Yoga is just about your body. Katie and I walked out of that yoga room different people after a day of angry karma, and we could feel the yoga in our muscles hours after we were done. It was such a spiritual experience, and I learned that Yoga is the religion of your body, and the religion of celebrating it.