I have never been a big yoga fan (this is based on no experience as I had never tried it before).

When I visualize people who go to yoga, I imagine tall, thin, defined, strong, flexible, athletic creatures. Just the thought of standing next to someone like that or, heaven forbid, in front of them, gives me anxiety. I have also been told yoga is a quiet place of calm, inner peace and that chit-chat is frowned upon. I feel a bit more comfortable yelling on the ball diamond or grunting on the tennis court. Now that summer is here, the ladies I run with convinced me to try an outdoor session Tuesday night at McDonald Park on the North Shore, offered by Kamloops Hot Yoga. They assured me there was nothing to fear and they offered to hide me between them.

As I placed my mat down, I quickly glanced around and, low and behold, there were men and women of all sizes and ability. The instructor started guiding us with her soothing voice in some breathing exercises and then we made our way into the Warrior Pose. I call it Worrier Pose. It was then that I looked all around at the participants to see if they were staring at me — and found a park full of people self-focused and concentrating on their own bodies, not mine. I guess I don’t matter as much as I thought I did. I realized my fear about yoga was really my ego getting in the way of trying something I might enjoy. I am looking forward to this newfound activity every Tuesday night. First dates can be the same way.

You might feel awkward or think people are watching — or you may even think you need to get into Downward Dog right away. All you have to do is inhale, clear your mind, relax, exhale and it will be amazing. Just don’t fall asleep on your first date like I did at the end of the yoga class as people really might be staring at you.

If you have been thinking about contacting me, remember how I felt going to yoga I was dreading it, but once I got there, I was glad I did it.

Get into your Warrior Pose and contact me at tara@ amloopsthisweek.com. Namaste.