would something that makes me feel so good, be something that
I would not do on a continual basis? On top of that, I can't believe
that something that feels so good is actually natural. I am not
talking Marijuana. I am talking about Yoga. I took Yoga class
religiously each Sunday when I lived in New York City. In a city
that never stopped, it relaxed me. It prepared me for what the
next week could and inevitably would bring. It was a safe hour
where I would relax and forget about everything happening around
me. It was the most focused part of my week. I moved to California
a year ago. The warm air and sunshine has put me on a short hiatus
(or any other excuse that I could think up). However, I am determined
to get back into this activity that makes me feel so good, so
calm and puts me in a better mental state. This past Thursday
night I decided would be my first night back. I checked the gym
schedule and learned that class began at 9:00pm.. It looked like
there were no excuses. I had no specific plans. And unless I got
sucked into the back to back season premiere episodes of 'Friends',
then it looked like I would be there - and I made it! The first
step of course. Class began. Everyone took their mats and selected
their places on the floor. Most people brought towels to put on
top of the mats - note to self - next time bring one of these
(the mats and the floor tend to be dirty). The instructor walked
in. This is the first time that I have taken a class that the
teacher has not asked if anyone was new to class, but maybe that
was a good thing because I didn't feel as though I stood out.
She put on trance-like music...The kind of music that you hear
when you walk into that quaint little earthy store and always
wish you knew where to buy.
We began. Yoga
pose after yoga pose.
It was a struggle for me to maintain my balance in a number of
these positions. I found myself looking around (even if between
my legs as I am bent over) to see if I was doing each of the poses
correctly. I am very uncoordinated so at some points, I needed
to duplicate the positioning of the person next to me.
helped that the instructor walked around the class adjusting our
positioning. I was really enjoying it. I was feeling even better
than I can remember, my mind was clearing and I was very aware
of my body. I lose focus in classes very easily. For some reason,
this does not happen to me with yoga.I will mention a few things
that did make me consider leaving class.At one point I felt dizzy.
This has happened to me before and also in other sports that I
have started. However, I will consult my doctor about this, as
anyone should in this situation. At one point, I actually felt
nauseous, so much so that I sat down. However, I would not give
up. At this point, I know you must be wondering why I continued.
The reason was very simple. I remembered how relaxed I would feel
at the end of class and this class was indeed making me feel great.
It was so nice to stretch out various parts of my body, which
do not normally receive attention.
It was also
a great experience to be aware of the weight of my body during
the various poses and stretches.
There are not many times that I just hold up my leg or arm and
realize or even consider exactly the amount of weight the frame
of my body supports. My favorite part of class was close to the
end, just as it used to be in New York. The instructor had us
lie on our mats. She changed the music to a softer, even more
relaxed melody and had us close our eyes. This was the point where
I attempted to be perfectly still and I wandered in my thoughts.
It was a time when thoughts came to my mind, that I may not have
been consciously thinking about. These thoughts came to the forefront,
because at this point there was no escape from them. Although,
emotions can arise and distressing thoughts can enter my mind,
mostly positive thoughts entered my head. This was why I returned
to yoga and after class, I felt great. I was almost giddy. I haven't
felt that way in a long time. Although I did expect this result
and it happened (maybe by the power of suggestion) it worked for
me. I will go back each week with the intention of working up
to twice a week... I don't want to set unrealistic goals for myself.
So for now, Thursday nights at 9pm, you will all know where to
find me. Drifting away, stretching and trying to achieve balance
and flexibility at a level that I thought only gymnasts could
reach. I encourage you to try yoga and incorporate it into your
life (as I will try for myself). Yoga is one of the best gifts
that you can give yourself and something that should not be overlooked
or underestimated. If you have the patience, motivation and desire
to find something new and rewarding in your life, I strongly suggest
trying it. I am almost certain it will find a permanent place
in your life.