Thursday, October 9, 2014

I Think I Finally "Get It"

I remember my first encounter with yoga none too fondly. I begrudgingly tramped through the snow and the dark at 6am during a blizzard, mildly hungover and deeply resentful of my vow the night before to accompany one of my close friends to her early morning class. It was my junior year in college, and I had been pulling all-nighters on a regular basis. Let's just say, I wasn't feeling so great.

When we finally made it through the snowpocalypse, the searing lights in the campus gym reminded me just how early in the morning it really was. The next few events are a little out of order, but from what I recall, about 3 minutes into the class the instructor raised her entire body off of the ground... on one hand. I just sort of laid there in disbelief, unable to even bring myself to a downward dog in my then-present condition.

No. Absolutely not. Hipster nonsense.

And shortly thereafter, I rolled up my mat and walked out.

Frankly, I've always sort of gotten pissed off by yoga classes. I've never been able to relax; all of the "breathe deep and release your stress" stuff just made me want to beat the nearest person in the head with a brick. It's not who I am, so I gave up on it and turned elsewhere. On the other hand, I've always liked Pilates - I can feel myself exercising, it's more "no-nonsense", and doesn't require ridiculous amounts of flexibility. So I stuck with Pilates for a long time, on and off.

Part of me always wanted to enjoy yoga, though - maybe that's why it was so frustrating that I simply hated it. I sort of lumped every yogi together as a pack of sports-bra-and-super-high-waisted-legging-wearers doing handstands at all times, and decided that it was someone completely fundamentally different from myself, and always would be.

But then my health...declined. I got married, and my mostly-veggie diet turned into, for lack of a better term, "meat & potatoes". I've decided to take hold of my individual health again, and not feel guilty for it (more on that here). So, thanks to the wonders of YouTube, I've found some favorite free workouts at home on a daily basis. I occasionally force myself to do a yoga video, usually choosing a ten or fifteen minute segment and swearing to myself, "it won't be that bad this time."

Today, I didn't stop halfway through the 20 minute sequence. I didn't hit pause and tell myself that I'd come back to it later. I didn't say to myself, that's enough, and sit in child's pose while checking Instagram for the latter half of the video. I'm not sure when it was, but I was doing something pretty horrific for an out-of-shape person, like chair pose, and I just forgot how to complain. I forgot how stressed out I had been lately, about money and finding an apartment; I think yoga finally got to me.
I enjoyed it. I finished the video. And you know what? I wish it hadn't finished.

Even though I was still pushing myself physically through the rest of the workout, I felt a lot more at ease. The words of the instructor in the background just sort of floated across the room, and I did what I had to and didn't focus on anything else. And it felt nice. I liked it. I'm not sure if it's just because I found the right beginner-style workout, or if the instructor's voice hypnotized me, or if there was voodoo involved - who knows. But I like it. And I might go do it again, right now.

PS - No, that's not me doing a handstand in the photos. Yeah right. Lol. That's my dear friend who initially introduced my to yoga, and the photos are from a camping trip we took together a couple of years back.

(Here's the link to the video, in case anyone else wants to give it a try!)

1 comment :

  1. I have always had a hard time liking yoga too. I have been looking for good exercise routines that I actually want to keep up with so I will definitely check out that video!


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