July 9, 2010

I finally did it! ....and it only took 22 years.

Although I have been a strong and active member in the industry of fitness, I have held back on immersing myself in one culture in particular...the culture of yoga.  I have stood back over the last 22 years and watched as the yoga industry has grown by leaps and bounds. From the various classes offered, the clothes, to the pretty pastel mats, I always thought it quite ridiculous. I thought the culture of fitness was overpowering but it had nothing on yoga.

Then there were the participants (or shall I say parish).  Going to yoga class was like going to church for many. The yoga instructor was the minister and the class served as parishioners. It appeared that critical thinking was out the window when I watched "Hot" yoga become popular. Any class that offers activity in the heat coupled with sweaty, shoeless bodies dripping all over carpet was enough to make me dry heave every time I thought of it.

However....based upon my current situation on injury (knee, ribs, low back) I was ready to try anything to help prevent this from happening again. And let's face it, I ain't getting any younger. Perhaps there was something to this yoga thing. So I stumbled into my first class last night.

I felt like everyone knew I had no idea what I was doing. Luckily, I have studied newbies to fitness enough to understand it is okay to be new. It didn't make me feel any less green.  Everyone had their yoga mat and most people looked very serious as they got their straps, blocks, and pillows. I was fighting the strong urge to bolt out the door and find myself a nice StairMaster to beat myself up on.

After all the worry and the intimidation and the concern that I won't be flexible enough to participate, I successfully completed my first class without incident. I have to hand it to the instructor. She was amazing! She taught to all levels and demonstrated a level of anatomical understanding that impressed me. She helped me to feel competent, welcomed, and safe. I left that class pain free (which hasn't been the case in weeks) and ready to buy my own mat and cover myself with lulu.

Needless to say, I am very excited about next week.  I think I am finally ready enough and mature enough to handle yoga. I am ready to settle my body and value the stretching and relaxation thing.  After 22 years of hard core pounding, I think I'm ready to learn the lessons yoga teaches.

I'll keep you posted.

Namaste (did I spell that right?),

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