A year ago if someone had told me I’d be addicted to yoga, I would have thought them to be crazy. Yoga for me was too slow an activity. I always thought it would bore the heck out of me. I was a Crossfit girl or trying to be! Who needs to be bendy when you have the muscles from lifting all those weights and doing a million burpees.
Now I have been guilty of ignoring good, solid advice in lieu of doing something I steadfastly believe in, until I am eventually ready to try out this new thing. It’s not me being insolent. Just that I have a high threshold for being convinced….ok and maybe I’m a wee bit insolent. 🙂 Either way, now I’m sorry I’ve lost good time NOT trying yoga because I am hooked!
I signed up for a class membership last year that gives me access to an unlimited number of gyms from their numerous affiliations. One of the many options available was yoga studios. I figured I could give it a try. After all I Crossfit. How hard can yoga be. I wish I could insert the wrong-answer-buzzer-sound here because I was so off the mark on this one. The first class I signed up for required us to begin with our feet together and then transition from a front raised leg into what is known as a warrior 3. Warrior 3 is where you stand on one leg, say left, hinge forward at the waist as you raise your other/right leg straight behind you and parallel to the plane of the body. Easy enough? NOPE. The only thing that kept me standing and trying, was my ego and that too was thoroughly bruised and black-n-blue by the time I left the studio. It was a good thing I arrived late and could only find a spot at the very back, meaning only my immediate neighbors were witness to my faux pas’ and God bless them for feigning ignorance!
I was starting to question my confidence but chalked it up to a bad day and not knowing what to expect. I boldly signed up for another class but with same bungling results. I looked like a drunk flamingo on one leg is the best explanation I have! Meanwhile, the rest of the class was filled with professional ballerinas. They practically floated from one pose to the other while I grunted and sucked breath and sweated like I had been in a sauna. I needed to get better. So I took my shame, locked it in a box, hid it under the bed and kept going back. Slowly but surely, I started to improve. I signed up for more classes and started trying different forms of yoga including hot yoga. It’s amazing how bendy your body gets when heat is applied!
8 months into this new experience, I have found a new appreciation for this form of exercise. It forces you to concentrate on your breathing, forces you to adjust your weight over your hands and feet for better balance and improves your overall ability to focus. It also uses body weight only instead of external devices. It augments flexibility, works muscles you didn’t know you possessed, helps work out the kinks in your neuromuscular structure and leaves you tired, sated and at peace with yourself by the time you’re done. I’m a long way from some of the more advanced poses but I’m taking it one day at a time and thoroughly enjoying this journey. My arms are stronger than they ever were before, my pelvis can move like a salsa dancer and my focus after an early morning yoga class is razor sharp. I’m late to the party but I’m all in!