The Yogi In Me

Sometimes I do things completely on a whim. This seems to create quite the upheaval in my household. I’m not quite sure why, but it does.

I received an e-mail early this year from a local Yoga studio. I believe that at some point last year I had researched this particular studio because it was so close, and because my step-daughter had told me about these Hot Yoga classes she had attended in her neighborhood. It sounded so intriguing, I thought I’d look to see if there were one close to me. Somehow, it must have not caught my interest because I completely stopped pursuing the idea.

Lo and behold, a year later I get this e-mail offering a free class for beginners. It was to be held on a Saturday, and there were no obligations to attend.

In the far reaches of my mind, I was thinking about how stiff I’ve been recently, and how I find it ever increasingly hard to stay devoted to my daily stretching exercises that were prescribed by my PT. Sure, I do some of them. But I don’t do all. And since the majority of them are Yoga moves anyway, I may as well give this a try. It’s a Saturday, after all…and I’m always looking for an excuse to get out of the house.

Me on Yoga

Me on Yoga

My husband’s first response to this whim was “Do you really think you need anymore exercise?”

Of course, me, trying to explain to him that it wasn’t really the kind of exercise he envisioned, is like him trying to explain to me how a catalytic converter works. It ain’t happening.

“Honey,” I responded, “yes, to an extent, it is exercise, but for me it is more about stretching and lengthening and becoming more limber…and finding my inner peace.”

With that, he rolled his eyes and snickered in only the way my husband can and said, “Well, I guess I get the stretching part. It will be like going to PT but it costs a lot less.”

Well, yeah…sort of.

“And it’s free? There must be a catch.”

“Not that I can see,” I responded.

I took that conversation as an ‘It’s OK to go’ from him…and I went.

Needless to say, I fell in love immediately. They offered a free week to use the facility and attend as many classes as you wanted to. I attended almost all of them, going sometimes twice a day, to determine if some classes worked better for me than others.

After the free week, we got the option to sign up for an unlimited month of classes for half price. I grabbed it. And I was rather shocked to have my husband tell me I should go ahead and join since I was seriously enjoying it so much.

Since then, I have been attending regularly, every other day, and twice on the weekends. It has been delightful! Of course, I’m drawn to the sweaty stuff, like the Hot Fusion which is performed in a 90° room, and the Vinyasa II class which works on the same warm room premise. But I have really enjoyed the Gentle Yoga class and the Yin Yoga as well, which focuses on form and breathing. I still need to learn how to breathe. I’ve always known I was a breath holder, but I now realized how often I hold my breath after attending these classes.

Upward Dog as performed by a dog.

Upward Dog as performed by a dog.

Some things I’ve noticed immediately, is that inner thigh irritation I get from not engaging my glutes while I run seems to tame itself after a few yoga sessions. I’ve also become way more limber, and can finally reach my hands to the floor again while bending at the waist. I never thought I’d see that again. But, at the same time, I’m a wee bit embarrassed at how limber I am not and how my balance is not nearly what it should be. Trying to get into some of those poses is like trying to tie a pretzel stick into a knot.

How I look after some of these poses.

How I look after some of these poses.

I’m also learning to breathe better. I’m actually trying to make it a habit. If I continually tell myself to breathe, eventually, it’s got to stick.

I LOVE the fact that I can’t bring any electronics into the studio. This mean no texts, no phone calls, no distractions for an entire 60-75 minutes. Because of that, I really do believe I’m learning to discover my inner peace.

The one thing I hate about it, is that my husband insists on calling it Yogurt Class.

“How was your Yogurt Class? Did you make lots of Yogurt today?”

This is equivalent to taking your fingernails and scraping them down the surface of a chalkboard for me. I don’t know why, but it is irritating as hell. I suppose it is another reason why I chose to try out a Yoga class in the first place (that inner peace thing).

I was also delighted to learn that if I attend 12 classes a month, my insurance company will reimburse me $20 for that month! Sure, it’s not a gold mine…but it’s something.

My month ends on February 21st, and already I plan to extend my membership after that. Right now, it fits into my schedule, and I’m really enjoying it. It helps me focus, it helps me breathe, it helps me get limber and stretch, and I think it really does help me find my inner peace. I have to admit, some of it is a little hokey…even for me…but for the sake of the true Yogi doing the instructing and those in the class, I’ll let it fly and play nice.

“Yoga is not about touching your toes, it is what you learn on the way down.”

-Jigar Gor

Have you tried Yoga? Do you do it regularly? Are you a believer?

One Response to The Yogi In Me

  1. Brenna says:

    I find your post amusing and insightful. As always I love your attitude and now I just want to go home and turn on my on demand yoga series I found on Runners World. Keep at it chickie!

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