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The sky is clear and the air has the freshness of a perfect autumn morning as I walk tothe Belair community centre for Easter Slow Down with Karen from Yoga Garage. Ifeel slightly apprehensive because my experience of yoga, thus far, has been somewhatmixed. I have always hoped to feel the connection of mind, body and spirit that manypeople describe as a benefit of yoga; however, I have not yet found the type of practicethat meets both my physical and spiritual needs.A handwritten sign at the door welcomes all yogis and bids us to “come in and breathe,let busyness melt away and SLOW DOWN.” It’s a timely reminder that I am here torelax, restore and rejuvenate mind and body. I am further reassured by Karen’s warmsmile. Her simultaneous passion for and approach to yoga make me feel instantly thatthis is where I am meant to be right now.We start by gently stretching each joint. My mind is busily collecting information aboutmy surroundings. It takes in: the brightness and airiness of the space; the soft musicplaying in the background; the chirping of the lorikeets and the hum of the traffic; thescent of essential oils mingling in the air. As is usual for me, my imagination flies at topspeed; it lights on small details for a moment before blending them to create variousnarratives. Yet, my thoughts gradually slow as I enter and hold each pose. Karendescribes how thoughts, like the foods we eat, are nourishment for the body. Yoga, too,is a form of nourishment and this Yin practice aims to strengthen the lungs and digestivesystem for the coming season.I breathe, feeling tension where I did not know it was held. While the sun streamingthrough the windows casts an ethereal light across the room, it lacks the warmth itpromises and goose bumps rise on my skin. Unfortunately, I have already used myblanket as additional padding beneath what I soon realised was a pathetically thin matbought with aesthetic more than pragmatism. Karen seems to sense my discomfort and Ifeel her gently drape a blanket over me – the beauty of Yin yoga being that its long-heldposes may be held beneath a blanket and with the body supported by various props.The session lasts for two hours; yet, I lose all sense of time passing and we transitioninto the final pose: savasana. Lying on my back with my legs supported by a bolster andthe comforting weight of the blanket over my body, this is seemingly the easiest andmost relaxed pose. However, I am acutely aware of pain in my lower back, the brightlight and my mind returning to busyness. Again, Karen intuitively provides exactly what Ineed: an eye mask, with a woody, sweet scent. I let myself relax into the moment.By namaste, I feel a curious combination of rejuvenation and fatigue. This may bebecause yoga encompasses physical and spiritual work; although, further practice isrequired for me to test this hypothesis. Regardless, I feel calm and settled, nourishedand supported. This could be the beginning of something beautiful.Genevieve SeysGenevieve is a resident of Belair who has recently discovered the healing potential of yoga.When she is off the mat, she is a freelance editor who helps business professionals to delivertheir content with style and precision.Find her on Facebook or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org