Thursday, June 2, 2011

Yoga, round 5 (AKA "HELL YEAH, I DID THAT!")

First, I have to say I've impressed myself this week with my exercise. I ran on Monday (and I am not a runner so it was more of a run/walk thing in 95 degree weather... wow), did Pilates on Tuesday (really love Pilates.. it's a very close second to yoga), then of course did Yoga last night, did an ab class at 5:30 this morning (hello 4:50 a.m. wake up and hardcore instructor - ouch!) and have Pilates again tonight after work. I am sore all over. Mostly in a good way. I am taking the weekend off!

(Ready to get our Zen on)
Last night may have been our best yoga class yet. Josh and I both had hip pain/tightness from running, and I was a little worried that I wasn't going to be able to get into some poses because I was just so stiff  and sore in that area. Well, I swear our instructor is a psychic... it seems whatever part of me hurts or I kind of hope we get to work on, that's what she dives right into. My doctor actually recommended that I start yoga due to my knee and hip issue that has been plaguing me the last year. Wouldn't you know it, the first class we ever went to, she starts with hip/leg stuff and the first leg we worked on was the right... the very same leg that I have issues with! It had been bothering me so much and within 20 minutes I was bending in all sorts of crazy ways I never thought I could.

So naturally, last night was a lot of focus on loosening up our hips. Toward the end of class she asked us to do tree pose. Tree pose looks easy, and anyone can do it for a few seconds. Holding it for an extended time is much, much, much harder than you'd think, especially if you are as uncoordinated as me. I'm not going to lie, I was worried that I was going to plotz right on my face in front of my husband and my fellow neighborhood yogis. The last (and only time) I did tree pose was in the yoga class at my gym and I could not get my foot up much higher than midcalf. The few seconds I could hold it was a triumph, but I thought it was really too advanced for me. However, last night, I got my leg all the way up. I was a little wobbly at first, but focusing on one unmoving spot really helps. Not only did we tree, baby, we treed with arms extended (up and out, not straight up like the picture shows)!

Holy crap, right? But it gets better. From tree pose, we moved into whatever-the-heck-you-call-this (except with arms not extended - hands were in prayer position):

HELL YEAH, I DID THAT! The funny thing is, I was amazed I could even get into this pose. And then I was amazed that I could hold it. Then, some sort of euphoria overtook me, and my mind was screaming "YOU ARE SO ROCKING THIS!" and as soon as that thought entered my mind, I lost my balance. Proof that there is no room for ego in yoga!

Anyway, long story short, it was amazing and so good for my body, brain, heart and soul. We started class in a corpse position, palms up, and did some melting into our mat and a little bit of meditation. As she guided us, through, I was able to let go of so many of the things that weigh me down and stress me out. I am by no means 'fixed' of my anxieties and troubles, but yoga has been (by far!) the most helpful thing for me as far as letting some of it go. I tend to carry the guilt, the burdens, of every (perceived or true) wrongdoing and bad decision I've made with me. All the time. 35 years of that gets a bit heavy... perfection is unattainable, so my load is only going to get lighter if I can let some of it go. I'm doing my best.

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