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First Yoga Class

“Come with me, the first class is free.”

That's how Nadeer lured me into yoga. I'm not sure if it was the “free” class or the “yoga,” which I've always revered in principle, or Nadeer's creative energy that enticed me to go. All I know is that I went; and it was in the basement of a yoga teacher's tiny studio that I had a brush with pure consciousness for the first time in my life.

I was not familiar with the poses. Nor did I find my balance easily. But I did enjoy twisting and turning my flexible body like a rubber band, effortlessly and deliciously. The floor was carpeted, something I don't like to this day. We were about six in the tiny room each coming in with a set of issues and heavy baggage. That's always a guarantee in a yoga class as in life. We all walk around carrying heavy loads sometimes outweighing us into submission. Listening to the sighs of effort and release gave me comfort and a sweet feeling of home among total strangers.

At the end of that yoga class, I felt a new kind of peace. At 37, I was alone with myself for the first time in my life. This class was not about anything else or anyone else but me. What was it about “me” that was appealing to me, I still do not know to this day; it was the feeling of meeting someone for the first time but looking forward to the opportunities of spending time together. Or more like love at first sight and butterflies fluttering and taking over my senses. One thing I know for sure, despite all the faults I usually find in myself, after all, I'm one big mistake, wrapped in defects and dipped in wrong choices before snowballing into one ugly being bouncing around this planet, aimless, loveless, desireless, intense and unable to be happy, that day was different.

For a few minutes that day, I saw someone else for the first time. I looked at my soul albeit very briefly but it was enough to make me want to come back for more and more. It started with a glance, then a glare and a stare then company and chats and deep conversations, all the way to a mountain of support and strength as well as an ocean of fun and laughs.

In the unassuming studio of a stranger who offered me the first yoga class for free, I met “me” for the first time. Guided by the voice of a complete stranger, a Jewish South African immigrant yoga teacher, I loved “me” for the first time. Who would have thought that this innocent invitation at the end of a long remodeling day, would lead to a lifetime of practice and self-learning?

All beginnings are humble indeed. All possibilities are great. Only if we simply and effortlessly allow ourselves to go there.

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