I’ve used this space to talk about my love of yoga before. It’s just that it is such a great way to energize the mind and body, and as someone who was hesitant to try it for years, I now like to spread the word about its many benefits whenever I can. I’ve attended classes at a number of different studios since I started practicing last year, and I’ve come to realize that every studio, every instructor, every class is going to be a little different than the last. And that’s a good thing, because it means there’s always something new to learn.
Although I’ve become more and more confident in my yoga abilities over time, I recently learned that there was still something holding me back from being completely centered during my practice: my ego. I realized this while taking a heated class at Wayland Square Power Yoga on the East Side. My instructor Sharon Marie Melesko, who co-founded the studio in August, helped me see this while she was leading us through Vinyasa poses.
I liked Sharon immediately upon entering the studio. She greeted me with a warm, inviting smile, and it stayed on her face throughout class. I found her teaching style playful and fun, which was nice after a stressful work day. But because it was my first time there, and I had determined that some of the other people in class were “better” than me at yoga, I found myself holding back a bit, not wanting to look dumb if I messed up a pose. Then, while Sharon walked around the room as we moved into Bakasana (crow), an arm balance pose, she said something that really resonated with me: “Remember, nobody in this room but you cares about what you look like right now.”
It was an aha moment. I had always been hesitant about attempting crow, not just because it required balance and strength, but because there was that chance of tipping over and embarrassing myself. But Sharon’s words reminded me that all eyes in the room were not on me. And I had a breakthrough. No, I didn’t master crow pose that evening, but I gave it all I had, which is 100% more than I had ever given before. Sharon’s class was a much-needed combination of reflecting, strengthening and finding balance (both literally and as a way to approach life). I left the studio feeling refreshed and renewed, my love for yoga stronger than ever.