Yoga: My Roots


In January, I joined a gym. I hadn’t been a member of a gym since I was around 20 years old. Back then, I paid for  year out the gate and then never went. So after the year was up, I just stopped paying for it. I was a lot skinnier and, though I still had body issues, I was out partying in nearly all of my spare time (which was hardly any at all). I was working two part time jobs and going to school full time. Yet, I never felt like I was stretching myself too thin or doing too much. Ah, to be 20 again.

This bit of history brings me to January, when I joined a gym. It was a grand opening special. $20 bucks a month and unlimited classes. The classes were what I was really interested in. I have wanted to try Zumba and Yoga for about three years now. There’s no time like the present, right? SC joined first, and I followed. I tried Zumba first. I felt awkward and like it sucked way too much energy from me. Not like physical energy, but because I felt awkward I was too worried about how I looked and that made me exhausted!

Directly after Zumba was the Yoga class. I melted into the routine and immediately felt like I was home. There were two really great instructors who taught at that gym. They balanced each other out. One was very strict and made us look at every pose to makes sure we were doing it right. He also explained the reasoning behind doing a certain pose one way, versus what we may have been inclined to do or have previously done. Reasoning helps me tremendously when learning new stuffs.

The other instructor was very laid back. We practiced our “lion-growls” to expel unwanted energy on Friday nights, and she taught us a bit about reflexology so that we could massage our feet whenwe were in forward folds. Her class was an absolute release.

I worked for three months going twice a week. I never lost any weight, but my body started to change. My tummy got flatter, my legs got stronger and I no longer felt out of breath when scaling the mountain of stairs every morning at work. I was more in shape. Then, two weeks in a row, they substituted our class with another instructor because ours was on vacation. This instructor typically taught the HIT class. She’d never heard of any Yoga poses beyond Downward Dog. She brought her laptop and popped in a Jillian Michael’s DVD. I was beyond annoyed. I could have done that at home! What’s more, I wasted an hour (TWICE!) because I didn’t want to walk out of her class. The second time she subbed in, she remembered that I had kept correcting her the first day, so she relied on me to lead the class. After that second class, I left the gym in search of some place that would be more professional.

Searching for something within my budget ($10 per class is NOT in my budget!) in a small town that has just barely learned the word Yoga was difficult. I stopped working out completely for over a month. My belly came back swinging, I felt sluggish, I started sleeping poorly again and that mountain of stairs became more daunting every morning. And the biggest motivator of all? I don’t fit into my wedding dress.

So I got a trial membership at the Local 24Hr Fitness. It’s double what I was paying, but half what I would have paid going to the only  Yoga studio in town twice a week. I’ve taken two classes so far and …this is where I need to be. I work hard and I sweat a lot and I feel good doing it. It’s the only exercise that I have ever done that makes me feel good. Not even 7 years of soccer was this therapeutic.

There are some aspects that come very easily to me, and others that I have yet to master. Tree is going to be my Mt. Kilimanjaro. I have terrible balance. Flexibility is my resting point. While everyone else would rather sit in Child’s Pose, I’d love to spend hours in Pigeon or Mermaid. The biggest hurdle for me is to let go of control and work my brains out with cardio before class. If I tire myself out, I am more likely to slip into my meditative state. Once I’m there, I can do anything. I’ve been known to lose half the class just going with the flow and completely forgetting what I’d done, I was so lost in the moment. That is something I’ve never experienced. It’s like a drug. I want more.

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