Day 15 – Yin Yoga

12 Jul

I’ve recently started doing yoga. I joined Goodlife because there are four gyms in Fredericton, and when you belong to one you can go to all of them. Each one has its own schedule of classes, and classes are what I want. Hence, my reason for joining Goodlife over the other options. I thought I’d start with a few of the less demanding classes and work my way up to the more strenuous ones.

I’m just learning about yoga, and realize there are different yoga practices. I’ve been attending two separate classes, with two different teachers, twice a week each. Monday and Friday it is Yin with Deborah, and Tuesday and Wednesday is a mix of Yin and Hatha with Andrea. The classes are different and equally as challenging in their own ways. It was naive of me to think that yoga was easy going. If you were to look in on a class, you might think, that looks easy. But, trust me, it’s much more difficult than it looks.

Here is a short list of the things I’ve learned since beginning yoga classes:

  • You really ought to wear a tight shirt. A loose, scoop-neck t-shirt and a downward facing dog equals showing everything you’ve got, the good, the bad and the ugly to the guy on the mat in front of you.
  • Sitting cross legged is painful if you haven’t done it in twenty-seven years. Rolling up a mat and sitting on it can help ease the strain on your hips and lessen the pain.
  • It doesn’t matter if you can’t complete the pose or if it doesn’t look like everyone else’s pose. If you’re really missing the mark, the teacher will come out and help you get into the pose or modify it so you’re achieving the same stretch/exercise in a different way.
  • Poses may have cute animal names, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be easy to achieve or hold. The swan pose is my nemesis and I will eventually master it. Well, maybe not master but be able to do it on BOTH sides for a full two minutes.
  • You should feel strain and tension in your muscles. When you shake to hold a pose, that’s good; it means you’re working hard. But, even though it’s meant to be uncomfortable, it shouldn’t hurt. When it causes me real pain, I release the pose.
  • Each class and teacher is different. You can’t expect the exact same thing each time like some other exercise classes. Plus, they encourage you to practice at home.
  • Unlike the preconceived notions that some might have, the meditation part of yoga isn’t hokey, it’s actually relaxing. However, controlling your mind and letting go of your thoughts that creep in while meditating is sometimes more difficult than the physical part of the class.

I still have much to learn, but I’m enjoying the process. It’s always most interesting when the learning curve is steep, and boy is it steep.

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