Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Do you yoga?

If someone had asked me six months ago what I thought of yoga, I can guarantee you that I would have scoffed, rolled my eyes, and given a line about hippies and their bull crap. I really don't remember why I decided to buy a Yoga DVD. It may have even been an impulse buy. I knew when my dad gave me money for Christmas this year, that I was going to buy another TaeBo DVD. Yes, another, meaning I already owned one. And YES! You can still get TaeBo these days! I remember being in the workout isle, Walmart rarely has more than one isle dedicated to workout equipment, but there is candy littered throughout the store, and the next thing I knew, I was on my way home with TaeBo, yoga, and a mat. I have found yoga to be a very helpful tool for me, and I think that everyone could benefit from its practice.

I was initially blown away by how difficult it was. The first few times I tried the DVD, I couldn't believe how challenged I was by just doing some stretching and breathing exercises! I started with the Hatha session, which is a slower, more relaxing practice that focuses on relaxation and flexibility in range of movement. I have to this day only done the Flow session once, which builds in more core work, strengthening, and flexibility. I almost decided to stop doing the yoga DVD as part of my routine because I didn't think it was doing much, but then I started to notice some changes that had occurred.

I have had chronic back pain for nearly 10 years now as a result of a car accident. I started experiencing the pain a few days into my yoga hiatus, and then it clicked. I hadn't had any back pain at all during the weeks that I had been practicing yoga regularly. I started it up again that same day, and almost instantly the pain went away. I also love the way my muscles feel after I finish a session. My body just feels refreshed. Besides the physical benefits, I also started to crave the challenge of mastering certain poses. Yoga instructor Tamal Dodge speaks of  yoga in this way, "Yoga is something that not only enhances stregnth and flexibility, but also state of mind. Each pose gives another chance to meet a challenge and overcome it." It truly is a total mind and body workout. It is also a GREAT stress reliever!

Do you have to join a class? No. Do you have to have some kind of physical ailment to benefit from it? No. Ah, but you have to spend a ton of money, right? No, Walmart sells DVDs for as low as 5 dollars! Don't want to spend the money still? Look up beginner's poses online! What about that mat? You don't have to get a mat if you don't want one. It will eventually be something to invest at least 10 dollars in at Walmart if you decide to get more involved in the practice of yoga because there are some poses that could cause slight rug burn if you just stretch on the bare carpet. Ah, but I'm just not flexible, I never have been. That's the best part! With yoga you only do what your body is capable of. The instructor will show the proper pose, and you adjust to get as close as your body will let you. Over time, your body becomes capable of more and more! Try it out.You just might be surprised like I was.

1 comment:

  1. I've been wanting to take a yoga class... I tried yoga on my own, and it was a disaster, lol. But I'm a little nervous about a class for anything. We'll see! Maybe your post will inspire me to actually try it.