About a year and a half ago I was attempting to find an easy exercise to be coupled with my running. And with running a good stretch is always nice.
In my mind yoga was the perfect “exercise”, it was for hippies, and people that liked to stretch and take naps on mats. Or at least that is what I thought. I left my first class thinking “that was slightly more challenging than expected” the next day this thought was followed by difficulties and soreness when moving my arms to put on my jacket. I suspected that this feeling came from the eleventy-billion push-ups (chaturangas) I had performed during class. Apparently yoga was not just for sleepy lazy people, it was a challenging work out.
This surprise stiffness and sore muscles is actually what first sparked my interest in developing a yoga practice. I started by just going once or twice a week so my hips didn’t get too jammed up from running, and to give my joints a little break. In a couple of months my once or twice a week visit turned into 3-4times a week, and then 4-5, and then basically I was there whenever I could make it and yoga wasn’t just about the exercise it became something more to me.
Yoga had turned into a whole other experience. I wanted to go, I wanted to be there, I craved the millions of push-ups, the toppling over when attempting to hold a balance pose, and the overwhelming happiness I felt when I was finally able to hold all of my body weight up with just two arms! It had become the only whole body wellness experience I wanted to do, I looked forward to doing, I started using words like “whole body wellness experience” and then it hit me…Yoga turned me into a hippy!
Yoga made me soft. All the years of building up my tough lady work face, my blaze through a crowd pushiness, and my dead public transit eyes were starting to melt away. But the most exciting part was I found out I didn’t really care. I wasn’t missing any of the hardness I had felt was necessary to live in the city, I was excited to let it go. Although, I found that by lowering these barriers I seemed to have opened the flood gates of “interesting” people. But I guess that just makes life all the more interesting right?
Since all of this, over the past couple of months I have fallen out of my ritualistic 5 days a week yoga practice, and now I am lucky to get over there 2-3 times a week, but I know I will get back into the swing of things soon enough, I just figure this is just a part of the ebbs and flows of life.