For years my sister has been trying to get me to go to yoga. I suck when it comes to flexibility so I kept putting it off. Last summer I had my first exposure to it while doing the YogaX video in the P90X program (I lasted 8 weeks). My first thought was, “this shit is hard”. With the start of the New Year, I made a goal to try “live” yoga and work on my flexibility. I’ve been on a mission to acclimate myself to lower impact activities. I also believe that we should step out of our comfort zones on occasion. I was extremely nervous for my first non-video class, so my sister took me to a place called Stray Dog Yoga (I can’t think of a name more welcoming to a beginner) to show me the ropes. Stray Dog offers vinyasa flow classes in a hot box – I believe the room lingers around 100 degrees. Too be honest, after my first class I felt very light headed and thought I might be sick. But I believe in second chances, so I went back again. And again. I’ve been doing a good job of making yoga a priority and attending a class each week since the beginning of the year. It is challenging, but addictive – the heat of the studio has been a sanctuary for me over the long winter. There have been other moments when I’ve felt sick but when I am overcome by the heat and being upside down I just take a break by grabbing a sip of water and positioning myself in child’s pose. I have found yoga to be extremely non-judgmental and even though my skill set is far below the average yogi, I’ve never felt out of place. In fact, everyone is applauded for just showing up on their mat. I am still waiting for the moment of when downward dog will feel like a rest pose, but in the meantime, I am so happy to have found a new discipline. And in doing so, I am doing something that is as good for my mind as it is for my body.
The other thing I like about yoga is how the yogi’s dress. People come to class in beautiful colorful tanks tops and fun pants. Through yoga I’ve been introduced to a company called lululemon that makes fashionably delicious yoga gear. I can’t wait to get me some. Oh and last but not least, regularly practicing yoga is a good excuse for maintaining pedicured feet all year long (currently sporting, a yellow called, “need sunglalsses”). If you have not tried yoga or if there is something else on your to do list, I am here to say what are you waiting for. I wish I would have found my inner yogi much earlier.