Health & Fitness

Yoga for the Heart


Last week I did my first in-person yoga class and it offered more than I ever anticipated what it could.

The weeks leading up to the class were tough. There had been some darker days and days riddled with anxiety or just straight sadness. Neither of them fun, neither of them wanted. But they were there and I had to work through it. My heart was heavy and for so many reasons. I toyed with the idea of going to yoga thinking it could only do good. I played with the idea so much so that it felt like a ping pong game of going back and forth of the pros and cons. Before I could talk myself out of it though, I quickly purchased my 6 classes with Lumos Yoga & Movement.

I was nervous leading up to the class because I haven’t done an in-person yoga class for probably about 3+ years. I have been doing at home sessions but that’s a lot different than being in a class where others can see you, never mind this whole Covid mess. But I pulled up to the park, got out of my car, and begun walking towards the class. That walk alone was incredibly good for the soul. The scenery was just so picture perfect it was hard to feel any type of way other than relaxed. I immediately felt my shoulders release tension.

Yoga in the park

How the Class Made Me Feel

The class started in Shavasana which was perfect. It allowed me to focus on why I was there and what I wanted to get out of the session. I was worried the class would be too advanced but I was able to move and position myself accordingly. The instructor, Ustat was incredible and always brought attention to our breathing and the small movements of our bodies. Her tone and voice were so relaxing and it was all exactly what I needed. Then somewhere shortly after we found ourselves in tree pose, I became incredibly aware of my emotions.

Yoga mat

There was something about that moment – with my right hand on my stomach and left on my heart, I was trying to catch my breath and keep my emotions from flooding out.

It could have been how the wind was brushing my skin ever so softly, or how the evening sun was reflecting off the tree branches on the cliff above, or Ustat’s voice as she guided our thoughts. As I stood there, I caught myself catching my breath and not because I was exhausting myself physically, but because I felt overwhelmed in that moment but in the best kind of way. I felt a sense of calmness come over my body which isn’t something I’ve felt in months. As she went on to speak to us, tears began running down my face. I couldn’t stop them and they just kept coming. Quickly so that no one could see, I wiped my face and returned my hands to my stomach and heart.

Catching my breath again, I tried to figure out where these emotions were coming from but all I could feel was a sense of calmness. Overwhelmed by the feeling, I opened my eyes to focus on the tress above us and the birds flying by. It almost seemed like a movie scene. Something you watch rather than experience. I’ve never felt something like that – so much emotion coming to my forefront and catching me off guard. Slowly though I was able to bring myself back and focus on the class again.

Nearing the end of the session, I felt incredible. I don’t know what it was that I needed from being there but after the class I realized just going was exactly what I needed.

These last few months, and even weeks have been fairly tough. So much unknown, so much uncertain, and just so much wrong in so many different regards. My heart needed to catch up to all that’s happening and has happened around me.

If you find yourself needing some calm in a storm, I encourage you to try yoga. And if you’re not into that, a good cry in a park will do just as well.

Yoga in the park

Lumos Yoga & Movement is currently offering Yoga in the Park in Mississauga and Oakville. Check out their website for more information.

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