Sunday, 17 June 2018

I Tried Yoga For the First Time

You might not know this, but a couple of months ago I signed up at the gym next to my house and have been consistently working out there. They offer a wide range of group classes but I ususally go to Body Pump since it's the one that makes me feel strong and that has the best schedule for me. I hadn't tried any other ones, mostly because of the schedule they're on - I have been meaning to try the one for your glutes, abs and legs but they don't do them as often as Body Pump. My goal is to try most of them at least once so I know which ones I enjoy and which ones I don't (I already know RPM will kill me so will stay as far away from that for the longest time possible).

The gym usually has Yoga scheduled for Saturday mornings (9h15-10h15) and since I'd been feeling sort of stiff lately, and want to improve my flexibility, I thought I could try this class first. So this past Saturday I woke up early (as always, because apparently my body is no longer capable of sleeping past 8h30) and marched towards the gym. I got there one minute before 9h and a line was already forming to get the tickets for the class and, as a result, my expectations rose. I looked around and realised a few of my future companions had also brought their own yoga mats so I immediately started to wonder if I should've brought my own as well and making mental calculations on how long it'd take me to go back home to get mine - I had time to do that but I chose to take the risk anyway, since I also noticed a few people without their own mat.

I got inside the studio at the designated time, noticed how the average age was around 40-50 years old, and proceeded to copy the people who were already settled by getting a mat and a yoga block. They had also removed their shoes and socks so I assumed it was the standart practice and did the same. The instructor then started the class and we started by saluting the sun, which was sort of weird because we were inside a building, and it basically consisted in a lot of stretching upwards and quick exhalations. After we were done saluting the sun we started the hard moves (to me, at least). The were a lot of "mukhas" involved, I discovered I didn't have half the flexibility I thought I had and started to feel bad about myself because I was watching 60-year-old ladies doing better than me, but I'm sure that's because they were regulars (at least I hope so). You feel your muscles working (and sometimes screaming at you), and halfway through I realised yoga isn't about stretching your muscles to unstiffen them, but rather to work them and work on your breathing as well, although there is some stretching involved as well.

I'm not sure yoga is for me. I understand the appeal it can have but I simply couldn't turn off my mind and was constantely thinking about something else instead of focusing in the now. I had some problems with the breathing part as well: the instructor counted how long each breathe was supposed to be but honestly, if I breathed like the counting I'd probably run out of oxygen. I did enjoy her very much, though, because she kept saying what we were supposed to be doing all the time (and modifications) so if someone is used to the names of the positions they can do it themselves without having to constantly look at her, like I was doing. The easiest part of the class was, by far, the final 5 minutes where we just lied on the mat, breathing with our eyes closing - I'm sure this is the only position I can easily do.

Have you tried yoga before? What did you think about it? Let me know!

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