Thursday, May 12, 2011

Yoga for Beginners

With school out.. (forever! eek!)..summer just around the corner, and inevitabily bathing suit season once again, I'm am trying to live more healthily. So I've been dragging myself to the gym with my gym buddy and also trying out yoga. I've only done yoga once or twice before, but I found a great deal on a yoga studio here and decided to give it a try.

The first thing I noticed when I walked into the studio is the calmness and quietness of it all. I'm used to intense cardio workouts with pumping jams blasting out, so this is of course quite a departure from that. It's almost eerie to be so aware of how your body is moving and to concentrate on your breath. That is one thing that I acknowledge I need to learn to do. Just breathe. I find myself holding my breath more than once. Holding your breath for too long is never a good thing.

The first pose called savasana is all about relaxation and I never thought that could be so difficult. The first class I did I almost started to giggle. Terrible I know. But I found it so hard to get thoughts out of my mind and just succumb to my breath. In the third class the teacher told us if we have a thought about our upcoming day, acknowledge it, inhale and let the thought out when you exhale. If only everything that stresses you out could leave with a simple breath.

In my relaxation state when I'm trying to have a clear mind, I think this is when most thoughts pop into my head.
"What am I going to have for dinner?"
"Man, I need a job."
"I hope someone, anyone, calls for an interview soon."
"My cheek has an itch. I better not scratch it. She'll know I'm not concentrating. It's getting worse. I'll just scratch it quickly. Maybe she won't notice."

I really hope I am not the only beginner that feels or thinks this way. Otherwise, I'm gonna need more than yoga to help me!

As we go through all the different poses and postures it's amazing the ones you think should be easy are not. And the ones you think "there's no way my body can do that" are easy. It's surprising how very little I am aware of myself and body.

However, at the end of class, the instructor told me my "wheel" pose (which you may know as a bridge), is amazing. I have a flexible back. Who knew? I'm pretty sure it's the only flexible part of my body...for now. Thank you elementary school gymnastics.

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