Alright, I mentioned in my first introductory post that I’ve recently started attending yoga classes. I’ve now completed over 900 minutes of instruction and feel that I can give you a review of the activity.
I started doing yoga for a few reasons. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard that yoga helps to relieve stress and anxiety. I have really big issues dealing with my anxiety. Get a random call from my parents? My first thoughts are that something terrible happened such as a death. What did they really call for? To ask me to print off their taxes for them. Yeah, I have anxiety. I’ve also packed on a few pounds in the last year and have just felt generally unhealthy. I decided it was time to take action and make a change. I won’t fit into my old skinny jeans by wishing away the pounds, I have to exercise and eat better. Yoga seemed like the perfect way to relieve stress and ease into the fitness lifestyle.
I started researching some yoga classes and found one at a local community college. For 6 90 minute sessions, it only cost $55. For me, it was a no-brainer. That is one of the best deals I’ve found around here. Now, there are numerous different types of yoga. I read up on the classes and decided to try Hatha Yoga first. This is supposed to be more of a slow-moving class focusing on the stretch and gentleness of yoga. It is especially recommended for beginners and those looking to relieve stress. A perfect fit for me, right?
So, I started attending classes with one of my friends from work. At first, it was really hard. I don’t have any upper arm strength. It’s probably my weakest area and yoga relies on your arms A LOT. I had to take a few breaks into child’s pose (a relaxing yoga move to help you get some energy back) while women twice my age were rocking the workout. It was certainly a reality check. Don’t be afraid to take breaks, you can’t expect to be a yoga master in your first class. My instructor is constantly telling us not to push ourselves too hard, if it hurts, don’t do it. If you need a break, take it. There is no judgement.
I decided to keep with it and by the 6th week, I was longing for something that felt more like a workout and less like relaxation. Thus, I signed up for another non-credit college class for 6 weeks of 90 minute yoga. This time, I was going to be doing Vinyasa Flow Yoga. Vinyasa Flow Yoga is supposed to be a more upbeat, fast-flowing class.
The first night kicked my ass. I was in child’s pose more times than I can count. Again, there were people double or three times my age performing the moves like they were no problem. Around the time these classes started, I began doing the Blogilates workouts and tracking my calories on MyFitnessPal. Every day, I would do my Beginner’sCalendar workout and then do 20 Vinyasas to build up my arm strength for my weekly yoga class. It is working. I hardly have to move into child’s pose and I feel a lot better.
After I leave my yoga class, I feel so refreshed and happy. Happy that I challenged myself and made a decision to be a healthier me and happy because it is so damn relaxing. I can’t explain it. You just have to try it for yourself. I see improvements in my stamina and flexibility every class. Unfortunately, my last class is Dec. 4th and I haven’t decided where to practice yoga next, but I know I will continue.
Since starting this journey, I’ve lost around 5 pounds and I feel really happy with myself. I’m not where I want to be fitness wise, but I’m getting there. I deserve to be happy, healthy, and fit and that is what I’m trying to do.
If you have issues relaxing or want to start getting in shape but don’t know where to start, I highly recommend a yoga class. It will clear your mind and give you the motivation to keep pushing and challenging yourself. There is no satisfaction like mastering the half moon or crow pose on your tenth try… (still working on that crow pose)!
Tree Pose, if I can do it, you can do it too!
Lastly, with one of my favorite quotes from Cassey (Blogilates), you do what you can and you do it well.