Before my husband deployed to Afghanistan, which was recently, I told myself that I would start taking yoga at least once a week. I had wanted to give it a try to supplement my weight training. Everyone has their own reasons for taking yoga, that’s why there’s so many different forms of it. But for me, I really just wanted a forced opportunity to get some deep stretching in, some time to connect my mind with my body, get my blood flowing on the weekends, and some time to relax and somewhat meditate. I think I have found that in my vinyasa flow class.
I’ve pretty much always been opposed to yoga because I thought it was lame and boring. But then again, I had never taken an actual class. Maybe I took one or two in college, but I had primarily tried “getting into yoga” by following along with at-home videos. Yeah, that wasn’t enough to keep my attention. Recently, my dear friend and client took me to her hot yoga class. Mind you, this was the first time I had done ANY yoga for years, and the first time I had taken hot yoga…period. Like whoa. 90 minutes of yoga in a room set to 109 degrees… I survived. I think I even thrived! So that was the kicking off point, and ever since then I’ve been attending a yoga class every weekend.
I eased into it by taking a Gentle Yoga class and have moved on to the Vinyasa Flow class. I actually really like it! It’s challenging and nothing like what I do during the week (heavy weight training), so it’s a fun little addition to my training. Everyone in the class has different levels of comfort with different poses, so there isn’t an intimidating vibe at all. Also, the instructors tend to say “this is YOUR practice,” insinuating that there is no pressure here. You do what you can do at this moment in time.
If you’re interested in reading a little bit more about starting yoga, Jen Comas Keck wrote a great blog post back in April titled “You Can’t Be Good at Yoga, and Other Things You Should Know Before Starting Your Practice.” This post of hers was sort of the nail in the coffin for me. And look at me now! Every weekend! Pigs must be flying somewhere…
Don’t let yourself be intimidated by what you think yoga might be like…and what the students or teachers will be like. Pssst…not everyone in there will look like a Maxim model in yoga pants. I swear. Not everyone will have the flexibility of a contortionist in Cirque du Soleil. You just go in there…do what your body will happily allow you to do…ignore everyone but the instructor…and enjoy your practice.
I hope this post has inspired some of you to step out of your comfort zones and try something new. While trying new things can be scary at first, you may find that these things add more value and richness to your life. You never know until you try.