Monday, January 2, 2012

The Royal P..ain-In-My-A...I mean, The Royal Pigeon

Yoga. Great for flexibility. Great for energy flow. Great for relaxation. Seems easy, or not-too-hard. I mean, I stretch after workouts. I'm not as flexible as I used to be, like back in my gymnastic days, but still....And I work on balance once in a while. So yeah, I can do this. I have tried a yoga class in the past, a few times, and loved it. I was definitely sore, and not too good at it, but I figured if I started taking a class on a regular basis, I would REALLY get good! So today I started.

The class that was available today at the gym was Yoga/Pilates Fusion. Cool. I've taken a little pilates, and have some clue about it. So I thought this class would have a little of both - just enough to get me started. Wrong. It was ALLL yoga. But don't misunderstand me, it was still so wonderful! The instructor asked who was new to yoga, and I was about the only one. I kind of lied and said I knew some, but really, I know 2 poses. Ha!

And so class begins. I stayed in the back, so I could watch the instructor, along with the other yoga-brainiacs, to make sure I was doing each pose correctly. And, luckily, there was also a mirror, so I could REALLY see how bad I was doing. (Yep, I was the one in the back looking as if I was about to take off, flapping my arms all over the place to stand still!). Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating. A little. But honestly, I didn't do so bad. Apparently the class involved a lot of Vinyasa Yoga. Which is really just moving, or flowing (well, you're SUPPOSED to look as if your flowing) from one pose to another. Usually there are about 3-5 poses in one movement.

I was actually pretty proud of myself. I stayed up with the class. And the instructor would walk around and fix people's poses, and I kept thinking - "Well, she must be going easy on me, and doesn't want to embarrass me, and that's why she's not coming over to me." She finally did correct me on one pose, but told me I had great flexibility! Yes! I'm a natural! hahahaha! So far so good. Going into the class, I already knew the downward-facing dog and child's pose (I know, not much at all). Outside of that, I didn't know the names of other poses, or really how to do them. Well, the instructor kept telling us to go from pose to pose, and using the poses', or asanas', english names AND sanskrit names. For example, sometimes she would say "downward-facing dog." Ok. Got that one. And then she would say "Adho Muka Svanasana." So I just looked at the guy next to me to see what he was doing. ha! The other problem was the breathing. It's very important to get the breathing correct while performing Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. It helps with the flow...when to inhale, when to exhale. Awesome. No, not really. I was so focused on not falling over, and trying to stay with the class and perform each pose correctly, that I couldn't keep up with when to inhale and when to exhale, and almost started hyperventilating! I was so confused, between everything I was supposed to do. So then I just stopped breathing.  Ok, that didn't work either. I finally decided to just breathe at my own pace, and get the poses down correctly this time. Hopefully next time I'll get the breathing right....

Everything was going great, I could tell I was working some muscles I hadn't in a while, and I realized that I was really going to enjoy this yoga thing! Then we moved our mats next to the wall. All of a sudden, I'm in these positions, have no clue how I got there, and almost got stuck in one of them! But I was picking up on it very quickly. The instructor was amazed as to how flexible I was! (um, I was amazed as well) There was this one pose, where she had us stand with our backs to the wall. Then we raise our arms, look up towards the ceiling, and bend BACKWARD till our hands touch the wall, and continue to walk our hands DOWN the wall till we're in a backbend. Oh yeah. Oh, and THEN you have to walk your hands back UP the wall till you're in a standing position. No problem. Actually, I did it! And then another pose had us on our hands with our feet on the wall, legs straight, at a 90-degree angle at the hips. Ok, that was tough, but I finally did a modified version. Wow, I impressed myself! And after class, when I spoke with the instructor, she encouraged me to continue yoga.

Oh, I forgot to tell you about the Royal Pigeon. Ahh, yes. The picture above. This, my friends, was the hardest of all poses. You try it. WithOUT falling over. And we only did a modified version, but I WILL perfect this! Oh yes, I will! I love a challenge, and this pigeon is going down....

Seriously, though, yoga really made me feel amazing! I haven't done anything like that since gymnastics and figure skating years ago, and I realized how much I missed moving the body in beautiful, flowing ways....
So, this is the beginning...and hopefully one day I will go on a yoga retreat....maybe somewhere on the beach...(there are retreats like this allll over the place, if you're interested).

Until then...


p.s. I hope I can get out of bed tomorrow! :)


  1. Had fun meeting you at the Red Door! Your blog is really great! I just started a personal one on wordpress called: I am usually writing content for bloggers and not on a blog site myself, I have much to learn in putting my own together! Yoga I have contemplated many times! One day, Just need to go for it! ~Cole Spencer

  2. Great meeting you as well! And I'm glad you're writing your own blog...and yes, sooooo much to learn about blogging. I guess one post at a time. As for the yoga...I have been saying that for years, and putting it off over and over again....I finally took the plunge! Hope to see you again soon...