By: Jim Harbaugh
Five years ago, I injured my back and after steroid shots in my spine, it got better. About a year ago, I again injured my back and again went and got shots, and while I found some relief, things weren’t quite right. My wife, Shelly, who has been taking yoga classes at Pulsation Yoga since it opened, suggested yoga might be the answer. Being somewhat fit but having no yoga experience at all (and not wanting to make a fool of myself in front of others), I thought beginning with the Yoga 101 series might be the best way to start.
During the classes, I learned basic postures and how one pose was likely to flow into the next. I remember that while it was nothing complicated, particular poses were rather challenging, and I learned that “muscling through” would not be the way to “master” the technique. The teacher covered classroom etiquette and breathing techniques. Also, students were free to ask questions with lots of opportunity for give and take.
After completing the Yoga 101 series, I was willing to see what was next, so I looked for the next easiest classes. I chose the basic level I class held on Monday evenings at 5:15 p.m. and the Wednesday evening restorative/therapeutic class. These classes were perfect for me. After one year of yoga practice, I am now able to touch the floor, do tree pose (with moderate success), do one arm balances, and fold myself in ways my body is not inclined to go willingly. And I am just now understanding how to “breathe into the pose” and really “extend” or “twist” to get maximum benefit.
When my daughters were young, I enrolled them in martial arts and after three years, they became Black Belts. And while some may feel that was the goal, in the world of martial arts, a Black Belt means you are ready to begin training. I feel the same way about yoga. Only after a year of regular training do I feel ready to begin experiencing what yoga may have to offer me.
I have again begun to move to even more challenging classes and soon may find the courage to overcome my fear of inversions. My right foot still feels asleep to this day, although less so. Perhaps in another year, I will be pain free. But for me, the journey of a thousand miles all started with the single step of taking the Yoga 101 series at Pulsation Yoga.
Check out all the details about the current Yoga 101 series here. While classes have started, openings are still available for a prorated fee.
Read Pulsation Yoga student Sheila Kessler’s story about the Yoga 101 series here.