A few weeks back, I wasn’t at my usual shala. I’m familiar and friendly with many of the ashtangis attending mysore there, but not all. I didn’t realize when I put down my mat the woman next to me was completely new. I saw her sitting, but I didn’t know if she was doing pranayama or meditating, I just minded my space and started on my practice. As I was in the midst of my sun salutations, I heard the teacher talking to her about breathing and getting started. I was smiling to myself, remembering being new, remembering my beginning.

I was quietly rooting for her. Praying she wouldn’t be intimidated, hoping she would find something in her experience and come back. The teacher at the shala is fantastic, she really broke it down, modifying for injury and lack of experience. I wasn’t intentionally listening, and I’m sure I only heard snippets drifting occasionally in my direction, however, she was trying, and that is the best any of us can do, just show up and try.

I didn’t start in the Mysore room. I had peeked in, seen the intensity, and chickened out. As a fresh prospect who knew nothing, I don’t know exactly what asana was so scary or impossible to me, but I hoped my practice now, next to this lovely and brave woman, didn’t give off any pretense of anything other than I’m trying just like you! That sun salutation you are struggling through, well, I struggled too there, but now I’ve got a new struggle. Keep trying, progress happens incrementally and not always how we imagine. I hope she continues❤️