Don’t laugh. Don’t laugh! Dontlaughdontlaughdontlaugh!!
It is my first ever yoga class – “Yoga for the Mind”. I am lying on my yoga mat in the warm yoga studio, lights dim. Eight other class members are also lying down, focusing on their breathing. On my left is my friend, V, who suggested we trial this meditation-based yoga class together. She has yoga experience and is probably zenning it out to the slow rhythm of her ins and outs.
It is two-thirds of the way through the class and my mind has begun to get bored with my breathing. It has already had the challenge of trying not to focus on my feelings of embarassment as my tummy made all sorts of interesting gurgles in the meditative silence…Until the tummy of the woman on my right started its own cantata, much more rousing than mine, and then I had to stifle my first lot of giggles.
A moment ago, a man lying on the other side of the room let out an incredible breath that sounded like a bass-voiced Big Bird’s sleeping “memememe!” and a horse’s “pphhhhffff!” and I was almost undone.
Now, I have a silly grin on my face and am hoping that the teacher doesn’t walk past and notice in the dim light. I’m even more desperately hoping that I can control my giggles before they escape into the room.
I try to focus once more on my breathing, but my mind is too busy and active to find in and out in any way engaging.
I’m supposed to be here so I can relax and stop feeling so stressed or anxious! I think rebukingly. Perhaps I am just not good at meditation. Perhaps my mind is too busy, perhaps my mind needs to be engaged, needs to much stimulation. Perhaps this is just something I will never get the hang of. Perhaps I shouldn’t bother.
I feel disappointed with the class. It is not what I had hoped. I am supposed to be serene and zen by now! My heart is supposed to stop jumping back into my throat. My breathing is supposed to be deep and slow. My mind is supposed to have stopped thinking obsessively about everything!!!
Except, there’s one part that is thinking, but thinking more reassuringly.
This is my first class. I don’t have to have mastered the art of meditation perfectly in one hour. I don’t have to have rid myself of all my accumulated stress and anxiety in sixty minutes. I just need to have tried, and I need to keep trying. I just need to know that I am doing something good for myself. I just need to come back next week.