I still remember the first time I tried yoga. It was the dead of winter in New York City and, as I walked into the dimly lit yoga studio, I felt a little out of place. Casually looking around the room, I watched an array of bearded, beaded yogis giving each other greetings and salutations I did not comprehend. I must have missed the memo because I was the only person not dressed head to toe in white. My five o'clock shadow and Nike sneakers stood out amidst the draping white linen and prayer beads. Some of them even wore turbans. "Where do you even buy something like that?" I asked myself, making a mental note to check Amazon later. It was my first yoga class and I didn't know what to expect. I was a little uncomfortable, but the steady rhythm from the brass gong in the corner kept me relaxed, even uplifted. "Here goes nothing," I thought.
Midway through the session, everything clicked. I could feel my muscles stretching, expanding, and releasing pent-up toxins as I down-dogged only a little behind the rhythm of the group. I felt connected with my body and with myself.