Friday, November 18, 2011

The yoga battle continues

Over the years I've always stood on the outskirts of the yoga scene and I've talked about getting involved. It just looks so fabulous. Who wouldn't want to wear those cute yoga clothes and buy your very own yoga mat with a sassy tote bag and be able to bend yourself in all of those crazy positions? Not to mention any of the really intense yogis I know are seriously strong and toned. So I've tried. My first real yoga experience was a private group (oxymoron?) class for The Resveratrol Runner's wedding. We filled the room with the bridal party plus a few others and the instructor was fabulous. I learned a lot and left the room vowing to take yoga on a regular basis. One year later I took class number two. Hot yoga. It was 90 minutes in a room over 100 degrees. I left there as one giant prune. No thank you, never again. I took one or two "normal" classes after that but have yet to make it a regular part of my program. I struggle with allowing my mind to quiet down and just be in that "zen" moment. I focus on everyone else's breathing other than my own and I can't stop thinking about how I can't bend that far.

I hung up my yoga mat, so to speak and stopped trying to fit myself into that activity but I keep being overwhelmed by the knowledge of all of the benefits of yoga. If what the experts say is correct, yoga is like a magic bullet. Some of the benefits of regular yoga proactice include:
  • Stress reduction - isn't this something we all want?
  • Increased fitness - improved balance, better flexibility, increased range of motion, more strength, and a decreased chance of injury
  • Management of chronic health conditions - cancer, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, lyme disease. All of these things can be positively impacted through regular yoga practice
  • Weight loss - yes please.
So today I tried again. A friend and I met at yoga class at 6:30 this morning and I'll have to say, it wasn't bad. I was able to clear my head, focus on me, and enjoy the time to just be. It wasn't a very hard class and so I have to fight the feeling that I didn't actually workout today. I will keep telling mysefl that this is what my body needs and that the long term benefits are worth giving up an hour of cycle for an hour of yoga. I will try to keep this on the weekly schedule and see how it goes!

Until next time...

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