For the past several years I’ve contemplated taking a beginner yoga class. Weight loss, spine/neck pain and a nagging feeling that if I didn’t do something to improve my health, I’d regret it, spurred me on. Yet I didn’t even Google local classes or attempt to start in any way. It wasn’t until I met Ryan Paravicchio, the owner of Kinship Yoga, that I realized why I never took the plunge. It’s a famous four letter word: Fear.
Not the teeth-clenching kind of fear that has you screaming like a school girl. Subtle fear. The apprehension of the unknown, vaguely related to things that go bump in the night. Over the past couple of months, after we moved to the city of Highland Park, I gradually got over my fear. Technically, my dog pushed me over the edge. I was walking past Kinship Yoga on Figueroa (again) mentally muttering to myself that now would be a good time to start yoga (again) when suddenly I was face to face with another dog and his human. And that human was Ryan.
After a short bout of dogs, um, greeting each other (you know how it is), Ryan gave me a brief rundown of his classes and what he was trying to accomplish here in Highland Park. His plans are ambitious to a fault. Hardly capitalistic, so don’t even go there (students can work in exchange for the classes). But it’s not just yoga. Plans are in the works for a kids activities room, music get-togethers and he’s already got a potter’s wheel going in the back. Got an event that would benefit the community? Have it at Kinship.
Kinship Yoga is an inclusive community project, hand-crafted with a tremendous amount of heart plus a heaping amount of vision. Ryan is the friend you haven’t met yet.
So I took the plunge. Two yoga classes later I’m not really sure what the fear was all about, but maybe that’s just because I can’t walk normally right now. Yeah, it’s a whole different kind of teeth clenching today, but it hurts so good. Ryan guided me through my first classes in a humble fashion, making it easy for me to participate but keeping an edge for the the more advanced students.
Since I used to be a blogger, my contribution in exchange for the classes (at least, for now) is to document my experiences at Kinship. Maybe I can help a few others get over their fear of the unknown, and step into the community that is Kinship. Sign up for classes online at www.kinshipyoga.com or just drop by for a free intro class. It’s easier than you think!