This blog is the first in a series that invites you to experience the Yellow Barn’s 10-day Yoga of Transformation, guided by Gary (Anandasagar) Majchrzak, a nationally renowned yoga teacher and instructor.
. Today is my first yoga experience at the Yellow Barn. Located in Mendota Heights, the beautifully renovated two-level barn is tucked away and hidden from the hustle of the city. I arrive here at 4:50 AM to begin the 10-day Yoga of Transformation. Getting up this early was quite a stretch for me (no pun intended). I am not a morning person, although I wish I were. And I usually begin my day with a strong mug of coffee. Like the majority of yogis present this morning, I got little sleep the night before, constantly looking at my clock to make sure I didn’t sleep through the alarm. It is still dark outside when I arrive with my yogi friend, Sally. We make our way quickly to the barn’s entrance and are warmly greeted by the glowing fireplace right inside the door. The fireplace and lit candles are the only source of light on this main level, and it is downright beautiful.
We remove our shoes and silently make our way up the stairs to join the other yogis. The yoga room is incredibly spacious. The old wooden floor reflects the light from the many candles and the small twinkle lights that hang in the rafters. The windows are large and I can still see the stars in the dark morning sky. I am struck with a feeling of sweet reverence.
We find a place for our mats on the floor and settle in. Our instructor and guide, Gary Anandasagar, begins to speak and paints a picture of what our 10-day transformational journey will encompass and the promise of change that the practice will deliver. Before I can wipe the sleep from my eyes, Gary encourages us to settle into the moment and we begin our 3-hour practice of poses, breath work, meditations, opening chakras and connecting with the Universe.
Throughout the class we push our bodies beyond our preconceived limits, let go of fears and relax into deep poses, breathe life into our tired cells, and meditate on Sanskrit as we create loving space in our Chakras.
Time passes quickly and the morning sun begins to rise filling the room with natural light, revealing trees outside the windows. As the music fades at the end of our practice, we are all in the same state of self-motivated fatigue and internal calm. The students move into a seated circle and openly share the affects the practice had on them. I realized that somewhere between the Plough position and practicing the Breath of Fire, I let go of a lot of negative feelings that were stuck somewhere deep inside me. I rise from my mat enthralled by what I experienced, excited about tomorrow’s practice, and anxious about the early start time. The very idea of a 5:00 AM yoga practice is still an unnatural notion to me. Now if I can only find a cup of coffee to satiate my incredible yoga-generated thirst.
Polly is fitness enthusiast and resides in the Twin Cities. She has four children and is a Media Talent and Communications Consultant at Image On Camera.