Benefits of Yoga
For the past 20 years, well-meaning friends, mentors and more have recommended that I start yoga.  Anyone that doesn’t know me might not know how both appropriate and unlikely that suggestion is.  Yoga is all about slowing down and experiencing inner-calm.  I am always on the go.  Never stopping.  Even in my dreams I am on the run.  Literally.

I have avoided yoga and suggestions of anything “slow” for my entire adult life.  Until last week.  I did not realize just how burnt I was until I spent the better part of two days sleeping.  I didn’t realize how badly I just needed to “be” for a while until I sat on a rock out on the beach, listening to the booming of the waves crashing on the shore.  Until I watched a sunset with no purpose other than to enjoy it.

I was better for a few days.  And then I returned to real life and quickly found myself caught back up in the same ol’ same ol’.  So a few days ago, I decided to start using that one day a week that I’m supposed to target for myself.  I used to go out on Thursdays to shoot pictures with a friend.  Since I stopped shooting, I haven’t been taking the time for myself.  I could probably use it, but wanted the time to be used on something purposeful so I didn’t just go shopping (otherwise I could put us in some serious debt once a week).

I found a local yoga studio that has a decompression class each Thursday.  It’s supposed to bring you down after work and help you relax.  Sounded good.  Little did I know that it’s not only NOT a beginner class, but it’s one of the hardest classes this studio offers.  Hmmm.  Probably good that they didn’t share that tidbit until after the class.

For the most part, I was able to keep up.  There was one move that I modified because I just don’t stretch that way yet.  During another, I had to tone down my enthusiasm when my legs started to say “Hey, I will snap you like a fishbone, woman!”  Otherwise, I balanced, I thought, I stretched, and I generally kicked my own butt.  I thought about work for all of two seconds – otherwise, I was so focused on not toppling over that I couldn’t think of much else.

By the time I was done, I was sweating like crazy (yogo is HARD WORK, who knew?), my mind was emptied, and I was ready to consume and entire large pork fried rice.  I tempered the hunger somewhat, but I was feeling pretty good and my OCD immediately started kicking in.  I now have a home yoga setup and plans to go to class at least twice a week.  More if I can swing it.  Uh oh…I might have found that supplement to spinning I’ve been looking for.

There is likely laughter around the globe, thinking “I told you so” now that I’ve tried – and <gasp> enjoyed yoga.  We’ll see how long it lasts and whether it provides the long-term benefits I’m expecting.  All I know so far is that it’s got the promise to offer me a way to slow down periodically so I don’t keep pushing until I crash.  That alone has to be worth something.