I have always tended to skip over the sections in fitness magazines featuring the pretzel shaped women with their barefeet and their amazing flexibility, for fear that yoga was a bit too ‘spiritual’ for me. I was not really interested in chanting my way through anything, and my ability to breathe in silence was best demonstrated at about 4pm after an ice cold beer and a nana nap.
Enter the ‘anxiety phase’ of my life consisting of some panic attacks and an affinity for (doctor prescribed) benzodiazepines.
I was a member at the uni gym, and they have a yoga class in the basketball court (so NOT kumbaya). So I decided to suck it up and see if some breathing and stretching could assist me with my current, slightly underwhelming, state.
I decided seeing as this yoga thing was such a relaxing affair, that I would do a tabata class first. Worst.Mistake.Ever.
I grabbed a uni yoga mat (and promptly had to buy my own due to fear of contamination) and proceeded to follow the class in some downward dog and baby cobras. My arms wouldn’t even hold me thanks to the tabata torture I had just participated in! I spent the class trying my best to ‘flow’ through the various stretches that are designed to realign the spine, and elongate the leg muscles.
I watched a guy with saggy track pants and a pony tail near the front of the class demonstrating that he was indeed the most yoga enlightened dude in the class, or so he thought. I breathed, and I tried to hone my inner ballerina.
Mostly, I tried really really hard not to fart. From everywhere. If you get my drift.
The class finished and I was left with a couple of impressions.
1) I thanked God that He spared me the humiliation of gassing the entire yoga class, thus highly disrupting their flow and zen
2) This is actually an intense form of exercise that requires practise on a regular basis.
Do not do Tabata (HIIT, GRIT) 15 minutes before yoga.
I am hopeful to keep going, as I see my flexibility improving, and lets face it, hand stands are fun. As for the spiritual side of it that I was reluctant to experience?
It depends on the form of yoga you choose, and if that’s what you are wanting to get out of it, then there will be a class like that you can join. I personally do not chant in MY yoga practise (other than “Don’t fart, don’t fart, don’t fart”).
My consensus at the end of it all was that Yoga is a great compliment to weightlifting, dance, and parenting.
Wine sometimes helps with that too.