I tiptoe across the dark wooden floors of a cold, empty dance studio and lay my mat down in front of me. Cross-legged, I sit with my back as straight as I can make it, face the mirror and take a deep breath in.
I’m grateful for being here – for waking up and choosing to be here. I’m grateful for the morning sun that’s creeping up behind a row of tall Georgian houses covered in ivy, dousing the city in an orange glow and reminding me it’s autumn. And I’m grateful for her, my teacher, the girl with the glittery aura.
With our hands resting gently on our knees and palms facing up, we close our eyes. The magic is about to begin. I take a deep breath in through my nostrils, this time holding for one, two, three, four. Then, breathe out through my nostrils. One, two, three, four.
Within an instant I can feel it. Peace turns into a liquid that flows through my body, navigating my blood stream and I smile as the calmness consumes me. My body relaxes and all the tension I was holding on to tightly is washed away.
At first I can see lights behind my eyelids, shapes and colours too. My mind pays attention to them then begins to wander. My shoulders, my chest, my stomach, they’re all rising gently like bread in the oven and then, slowly, they deflate like a balloon.
I open my eyes again and we start to move. Stretching, bending, turning, twisting, we’re squeezing our joints and expanding our bodies. The temperature is rising and tingling sensations are starting to tickle my insides but my mind is focused and my breathing is composed.
From Downward Dog to Chaturanga Dandasana to Upward Facing Dog, right through every Warrior and bowing back down into Child’s Pose. Time ceases to exist as we transform and transcend, moving our bodies and shaking up our spirits.
We’re back in a seated position, facing the mirror and breathing deeply. My outsides are still but inside, I’m buzzing with energy. I feel electric and although my body hasn’t changed, somehow my reflection looks different.
I can no longer see those imperfections or flaws and I can’t hear that horrible voice inside my head that tries to find them. My heart is open and I can feel the magic. It’s almost as though before we began there was a disconnection, but on my yoga mat is where my mind and body and soul come together as one.