I love when new people join the studio. Given how long I’ve been practicing though, I do tend to forget just how difficult the first class can be, and I definitely don’t think about how strange it must be to come into the studio and see a bunch of half-naked people roaming around.
One of the things I find interesting is new students’ take on the lives they think we live outside the studio. Recently, a first-timer was in my class. We walked out at the same time and started talking. He said he really, really enjoyed the class. He found it difficult, but enjoyable nonetheless. He found it difficult for all the reasons you’d think he would. It was hot. It so very, very hot.
He told me that there were moments when he felt like leaving the room, but he didn’t. He just chose to sit down. He said he had a hard time keeping control of his breath, and of course some of the postures were confusing. But he said he realized that most of his supposed problems were really just in his mind. Goodness. It took me probably a solid year to even realize I wasn’t focusing on my breath and I am just now getting around to facing the fact that many of my so-called problems in class are invented mostly by myself.
He’s waaaayyyyy ahead of me is all I’m saying.
I asked him when he was coming back again, and he said he planned to come the next day (Saturday). He said his goal was to take advantage of the seven day intro and come every day for a week. A great goal, but you know it’s also a challenging one too. He wasn’t sure what time he would come to class on Saturday though – it all depended on how much fun he had Friday night.
“Oh, I know what you mean,” I said. “There are plenty of people who roll into the 3:00 on a Saturday because they drank too much or whatever the night before and couldn’t do the 9:00.”
“Really?” he said. “That’s good to know. That’s good to know people here go out and have fun.”
It was an interesting part in the conversation. I’m not sure if it means he thinks we don’t ever have a good time or if we’re extra careful about what we eat. Of course, practice long enough and this yoga will change you. You will start to be more mindful of what you put into your body. But we also know how to have fun and cut loose.
But it makes me wonder, how do new people see us? What do new students think of us and who we are? I honestly don’t remember my initial preconceptions. I only remember taking a two-hour nap (more like a coma) after my first class and being oh so very sore the next day. What do you remember?