Sunday, October 2, 2011

October Yoga Challenge.

I'm already behind in something I haven't started. Go figure. But I'm not so far behind that it's not worth even starting, so here it goes. I love October, for lots of reasons, some stated in the previous post, well, most stated there. But still. I also have this weird drawing towards yoga (if you haven't picked that up about me, you need to read more posts of mine instead of acting like my mother with a tivo and fast forwarding to what she thinks are the "good parts").

Anyways, I have had a lot of things to think about involving the hippie zen world of yoga in the past few months and never really got around to working through/writing them out. So my thought is, for the month of October, I will post once a day about something yoga related. Could be long, could be short, could be a quote, could be me spouting off at the mouth for far too long about something I couldn't do in class. So we will see how that goes.

We'll start easy since I better get another post in about it today to make up for yesterday. What's the best place to begin? The beginning, I guess. I never once was interested in yoga. Not ever. I saw the mats leaving my dorm room, never thinking about where they were going and for what actual purpose. Not that I was so inclined to exercise. I was happy with my beginning workouts of cardio as a freshman, and that was as far as that was going to go.

Until I moved back to Cedar Falls. Our city rec center is really a pretty good facility for being a public one, and I figured, I have the time, might as well get to a few classes. Turns out that yoga was quite a popular one, so after several weeks (maybe even months) of avoiding it, I ventured out, with a safety friend at my side to try out this completely foreign concept.

To make it only that much more nerve wracking, the instructor was a girl that graduated from my high school a year before me. A very bendy, very toned, very skinny girl. Welcome to very potential humiliation. I could lead you to believe for the rest of the post that she was a huge bitch and was snickering everytime I fell over, but that was far from the truth. The class was at least 15 people, and I doubt she looked at us any more than anyone else. She was totally professional, but at the time, it sure felt like all eyes on me. We were in the second row, in front of a whole other row on the side, right next to a mirror. In my nerves, it felt like I might as well have a flashing frame around me.

I legitly don't remember much about the actual class, but I do remember have ZERO idea about anything. Ihad probably never in my life ever even heard the term downward dog ever before. And for most of you, I bet you know how common that pose is, and by common, I mean, its like breathing, it happens all the time...but this meant that I had my neck cranked up the entire class, trying to follow what everyone else was doing. So I was a solid three/four seconds behind everyone else, and even then I was in some sort of weird contortion of each pose since I had no clue where each limb was really supposed to be. Although, that wasn't a huge problem in reality, as I was so out of shape and untoned that every pose only could be held for a few seconds. I fell out of each one well before the next pose was called. Each downward dog seemed like it was held for hours. Oh the burning arms, the shoulders on fire.

An hour later, I was done. I don't know if then I knew I would return. I bet I thought I would give it another try or two, but I can pretty much guarantee you that at know point, even in the first couple of years that I would be where I am now with it. At least mentally. Unable to go long without it, or the mental mumbo jumbo starts going on, and the body starts yelling at me to get with the program and get to the mat. I need it now. I'm not addicted, but I am. When I think back to where I was when I started, it feels like I have been with the practice for decades, but in reality, its been only a little over five years. Crazy. I mean, after the first few months, I got INTO it. For awhile I was going to yoga classes five days a week, but for the most part now its only 3 times a week, but still. For people with normal schedules, that probably isn't the frequency that is going to happen. But I will say it time and again, if you want to do it, you can do it. You might have to start with every modification known, and some made up by your own body and mind, but you will get there. I did. And that's saying something.

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