One of my best friends who trained in India this summer to become a yoga instructor came over yesterday afternoon to give me a private yoga lesson. I've tried yoga a few times before but never really got into it because I felt like I didn't know what I was doing and therefore wasn't getting the benefits of the practice. Also, I hate attending classes by myself, so having a private session in my living room on a rainy day was the perfect solution. I was blown away by how much better yoga felt when I had someone showing me the correct form. I actually felt my muscles working and then felt each muscle relax during the breathing exercise. By the end of the class I felt calmer and therefore more in control of myself. (And that's just one class!) I really loved at the end when she said to, "Say thanks for taking an hour for yourself." I had always viewed exercise as a time consuming chore, but considering it "an hour for myself" and my body really changes how I feel about exercise. I beat up my body with work and never take the time to take care of myself. Changing my mindset helps me to see yoga as an hour of loving and appreciating my body, instead of a burden.
As if the private lesson wasn't a gift enough already, she also brought me some little treasures from India. I got these recycled paper bookmarks with the most beautiful designs. I absolutely love them and needed it because I usually just use scraps of paper or receipts as a bookmark. She also got me a precious little notebook ("because I'm always writing things down") and the book, Life of Pi, by Yann Martel, that was printed in India. The greatest part about the book was that I had read it years ago, but I borrowed the book from a friend and wanted my own copy, but never got around to buying it. Also, when I last read it, the last page of the book was actually missing. I can't wait, after so many years, to find out how the book ended.