Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Yoga- A Second Chance
My first experience with Yoga was in the Summer of 2007. I made a list of things I wanted to try and do that summer. Yoga was on the list and was very attainable since I have a good friend who has been practicing Yoga for several years and purchases a membership to a studio in a trendy part of town.
I asked her one day if I could come with her to a beginner class. She agreed, even though she was no beginner.
At this point, I had been sedentary for a few years. I did very little physical activity, I worked a lot, and ate terribly. I thought Yoga would be fun, easy, and relaxing. After all, it is just stretching!
Boy, was I wrong!
We went to a studio which was located in a very old, converted warehouse. In the middle of Summer. With NO air conditioning. This is the first step to getting a very bad first impression of yoga. The studio was sweltering and we would be stretching and holding for an hour and a half.
Being out of shape did not help. I tried to do the regular poses, but ended up doing a lot of the modified poses for beginners and for people whose bellies got in the way of a stretch- that's me!
I had no idea how strong you needed to be to do Yoga. I always thought I was strong, but when it comes to supporting your weight and holding it for an extended period- I started to second guess my strength. My body shook under my weight and told me, "we can't hold on much longer!" Internally, I was embarrassed about how out of shape and inflexible I was.
I told my friend I did not enjoy Yoga and never did it again. I limped home, more sore than I had ever been in my whole life. A deep muscle soreness that lasted for days and it hurt when I moved.
I never did Yoga again, until I bought a Wii Fit that is. I did the poses on there and turned out I wasn't half bad. However, I am in the comfort of my own home, no Yogis upstaging me, or an instructor pushing me into a pose I am not ready for.
Today, I took another step forward in my healthy living strategy and did a 25 minute Yoga video at home. I even worked up a little sweat while posing. I'm still doing some modified poses and I still start to shake under my weight toward the end, but I actually enjoyed it today much more that when at the studio- I am in much better shape than I was 4 years ago and I can really see the difference. My belly is not as in the way as before- that's my favorite thing!
I think I will stick with Yoga 2-3 times a week at home and maybe one day work up the courage to return to the studio or classes. I find that when I am posing I am only concentrating on the pose and breathing and stretching. I am not thinking about that mean lady at work, my next bill payment, or relationship anxiety. I'm just posing and that's good for me right now.
What new exercise have you tried lately? Or... what exercise have you given a second chance?