Today I experienced my first yoga class. I know, it sounds crazy. But it is very true, I’ve never taken a yoga class before because I chose practice at home. It was always me, my mat, cat, and Yoga on YouTube. A part of me was always nervous to take a class. Yoga is an exercise of the mind, body, and spirit, a moment of emotional vulnerability. I didn’t want to share that experience with others, I didn’t want to feel judged, or pressured to do moves I wasn’t ready for. So during my spring break I wanted to try something new, so, I put aside my ego and took a morning class (9:30-10:45) at Shine Yoga in Batavia, IL.
Shine Yoga is this old stone building nestled in the downtown of Batavia. The studio is decorated in earthy colors and exposed brick, with large windows billowing natural light. There is a small shop within the studio with shelves of holistic books and films, and racks of colorful yoga pants, slim jackets, and tee-shirts. Shine Yoga also has locally crafted malas, bracelets, rings, and necklaces. There are cozy chairs that huddle around an old fireplace, a space to chat with other yoga students. Once you walk in further they have a space to eat, drink, and socialize. With drinks and snacks available, it’s a perfect spot to unwind after a yoga session. The yoga space is also beautiful. With large windows on both sides, a frosted glass sliding door, and a dreamy blue wall. I love the color blue and their wall calmed my thoughts every time I looked its way, the color reminding me of the ocean.
I took the Mixed-Level Yoga Class taught by the wonderful Meggan Riley.
The class started with everyone getting their mats laid out and props by their side. I just want to note, Shine Yoga provides yoga mats, yoga blocks, and blankets if needed, they have a great supply of yoga tools to use during the class. After everyone settled onto their mats, we began a small mediation to center and ground our energies into the present moment. We even did some OM-ing…and I actually enjoyed it! We began the flow with a series of sun salutations to get the body warmed up. We then began evolving basic poses by building off of their foundation, and adding new technique to each move. This build of movement created layers of energy and confidence, it provided us with a new perspective for each pose. We ended the class with a five-minute mediation, that allowed us to thank our bodies.
During the class instructor Meggan said something that resonated a lot with me, it was even the mantra I used during the class mediation at the end. Meggan said, “With growth there is rest.” It is such meaningful statement, a collection of words that form such a rooted presence. After the class was done I told the owner Kay Eck, “We tend to get so caught up in it all, constantly growing, evolving, and pushing forward. We tend to forget about the rest, about taking a step back to just breathe. That is why with growth there is rest, is such an amazing reminder to be mindful.”
This yoga class was very important to me. It gave me the chance to push myself in new ways physically and mentally, it allowed me to meet new people, and enjoy the experience of feeling supported by fellow students. Meggan was an amazing instructor, she had such a positive and fiery energy that made her presence warm and inviting. She welcomed shakiness and falling out of pose, with a smile, laugh, and encouragement to try again.
Shine Yoga is a place where patience, focus, laughter, and exploration, all collaborate to create a meaningful experience.