Indiana & Yoga Magazine Summer 2016 Issue 1 | Page 75

HOW YOGA CHANGED ME to yoga, what it seems to do with many things, it turned it into a commodity. Despite my disdain and my aging body, my soul was asking to be paid attention to, to be cared for and mindfully moved. So with the prompting of a friend who recommended his local Indy yoga studio, I dared to sign up for my first Hot Yoga class. A cascade of feelings overtook me as I entered the hot, darkened studio for my first yoga class in a long, long time. I was anxious. I was vulnerable. I was feeling inadequate. After all, I used to be “the yoga teacher.” Eclectic, sometimes loud music, mats lined closely together and the uniform sound of breathing flooded my senses. My body quivered, my heart raced, my skin sweated like never before. But regardless of my uncomfortableness, I felt empowered. Despite my neglected state, I knew my yoga mat was where I wanted and needed to be. It was a re-acquaintance, not only with my aging body, but more importantly, deeper layers of myself. It required a letting go and a letting in. It took courage for me to show up, remain present in the moment and honor my body’s weaknesses with compassion and respect. week unlimited pass and found myself eagerly exploring different teachers and styles. Sometimes, the music was too loud, or the teacher talked too much, or I became frightened when asked to do hand or headstands. But I realized, it was ALL grist for the mill. All the things outside myself that I judged, I realized I was simultaneously pushing away similar parts of myself that I have not quite balanced, a rough edge so to speak. So I continued on. I bought additional classes. In the moments before each class I quiet my mind and center on my mat in the darkness of the hot yoga studio awaiting the teacher’s instructions. I still recognize anxiety as I anticipate where I will be asked to move. But now I have a new friend, myself, knowing she won’t take me beyond my new emboldened edge, but continues to nudge me beyond the deadened safety of my old self-limiting beliefs about who I am, and what I am capable of accomplishing. ANNE ALDERFER Anne Alderfer, RYT 200, is a hospice social worker, wife, mother of three amazing adult sons, aspiring writer, meditator, former yoga teacher and life adventurer. Anne first discovered yoga in 1978, studied the lineage of the Himalayan Masters and later taught her own integrative style of yoga for 15 years. Currently Anne prefers being the student on the mat in yoga classes and learning to strengthen, flex and accept her changing body and self. I give thanks for this opportunity of growth made possible by the beautiful venue of Indy’s modern yoga studios, despite those who argue this is not yoga in it’s purest form. ■ This boldness was new to me, and it’s causing me to be cracked wide open, and I love it. I’m leaning in to myself, to listen, to strengthen, to love myself more fully. It feels great. I signed up for a two- 73