Moksha Yoga Cambridge member Kristy Goss shares about Yoga, letting go of ego and opening up to community.
Early one Friday morning I searched online for a studio to try a class at. As fate would have it, Moksha Yoga Cambridge was holding their open house the next day. I phoned a couple of friends and recruited them to join me, because, thinking, if I have friends with me, it will be ok. I signed up online and promised myself I’d go. Not really knowing what to expect.
I showed up in pants, with no water, 2 bath towels, about 30 seconds before class was supposed to start.
Emily met me at the front counter with a smile, and my friend Nancy was already there waiting for me. We were probably numbers 49 and 50 to arrive for the open house that day, and there definitely wasn’t enough room to squeeze in one more person, but Emily, probably sensing my reluctance and nervous energy simply said “Welcome! Would you guys like to be together?” We nodded yes, she passed me a mason jar and invited me to fill it with water, we quickly did so, and dropped our bags in the change room and headed upstairs.
When we entered the hot room, we didn’t encounter any snickers, there were no stares, no sighs or annoyed glances at the “late girls”, just 48 people who were kind enough to make room in their lives for a stranger. Over the next couple of months I came in and out of that same room many times, sneaking in quietly by myself and slipping out quietly after, slowly growing stronger, happier and more comfortable. Christine caught my attention one day after class and said “Are you coming to the party tonight?” “Yeah, of course, I’ll see you later!” I replied, with absolutely no intention of going, already planning the excuses I’d give the next day for why I didn’t go. Later on that night when I should have been deciding what to wear to the party, something else was going on in my head, it was my ego, it was saying “don’t go, you’ll look stupid going by yourself, you won’t have anyone to talk to”. Then, for a moment, I remembered smiling at Christine and saying I’d go, so I took a deep breath, got dressed and went. Again, expecting cliques, stares and snickers, I walked into the room quietly, hoping to say hi, and make my escape once I had fulfilled my promise to Christine. I walked into the room greeted by Wendy with a GIANT hug, which was exactly what I needed, got a beer from Emily, and a “thank you” for coming from Christine. Suddenly going from anxiety to feeling like a VIP, I made my way over to an empty table, sighed deeply and looked around. No cliques, no stares, no snickers. Chantal LeBrun, a teacher at Moksha Yoga Cambridge, befriended me before I even swallowed my first sip of beer. Before I knew it, I was laughing so hard my face hurt, and we were all sharing funny stories and having the best time. Before I knew it, I was calmer, happier, excited to get out of bed every morning, more content with myself, my job, my life, with what I had. I weighed less, I carried less, worried less and wanted less.
I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I hadn’t shown up to Moksha that day, if Emily had said “I’m sorry, we’re full” or if she hadn’t gone out of our way to put mine & Nancy’s mats together. I would like to say that fate brought me to Moksha’s door, but I know that there is no coincidence in the fact that the decisions that I made that brought me to class happened at the end of a yoga class, where I had been relaxed, and had space to think clearly.
Over the last two years, thanks to having a safe ecosystem to practice in, thanks to having a great home where I always feel accepted in, and always finding encouragement for growth, I have been working towards a more truthful and honest practice, removing ego from my mat and my life, but I try to remember that if it wasn’t for ego, I might not be where I am now.
A home is where you find safety, love, memories, space to reflect on life, and shelter from the noise and violence of the outside world. A home is a place you can always return to when things get complicated, scary or messed up. Home is a place where you can simply be yourself. For the first time in my life I truly feel that I belong somewhere, that I am part of something, and that I am loved and appreciated. Inspired by all that I have learned at Moksha and all of the amazing teachers that I have met at Moksha I am now in Yoga Teacher Training and hope to one be as influential on others as they have been for me.
Emily asked me to say what Moksha means to me, if I had to say it in one word, I would say “home”.