My First Yoga Class? I Cried the Whole Time.

Little Girl in Child's Pose on Yoga Mat

I haven’t talked about it much, that first time I stepped into a yoga studio. It was not only pivotal in my yoga practice, but in my life… and not for the reasons you might think.

That’s because I took my first studio yoga class when I was totally devastated.

I had been practicing on my own for years (my very first “class” was in my tiny one-room apartment, with a cassette tape — yes, a cassette tape). But, it took me a long time to get to a yoga studio. I’m not sure why.

As often happens in life, though, when the moment finally came, it was right on time.

I was a first-year business lawyer. I was tired, and confused, and stressed. I was over-caffeinated. And, most of all, I was completely, utterly heartbroken, working my way out of a dissolved relationship.

This particular evening was especially painful. I’d had a hard conversation with my ex, and I was crying. In my office. (Sidebar: One of my mottos at the time was “there’s no crying in corporate,” so this was serious business).

It was 5:30 pm. Way too early to leave without feeling like I was sneaking out… but I did anyway.

In a total gut decision, I grabbed my work bag, and got myself to a nearby local yoga studio as fast as I could.

I had no yoga clothes, I had no mat. It didn’t matter.

When I arrived, the teacher, Kyra, opened the door. She took one look at my tired, tear-streaked self, standing there in the dimly-lit stairwell, smiled calmly, and softly said something that I’ll never forget:

You’re in the right place.”

I came in, bought a tank top, rented a mat. I did a little vinyasa. I did a lot of child’s pose. I sat quietly, crying, letting my emotions rise and rest.

In that moment, I stopped trying so hard, and surrendered instead.

I gave myself a soft place to fall.

My mat is still that place for me. And getting on it always helps me get back to myself.

What about you? How do you care for yourself when you’re heartbroken, disappointed, or stressed?

When you feel challenged, what is your soft place to fall? What is YOUR “yoga”?

I’d love to hear your answers today. If you can relate to this post, share your “soft place” self-care strategies with me and other women on the brand new Facebook page for Ritual Care (Higher Ground’s new parent company).

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