I desperately want to get it; I think yoga would be a great tool for someone like me to learn how to just “be,” find inner peace and really respect my body.
I just haven’t found success with it to date.
I tried a bunch of Hatha yoga classes back when I lived in D.C. But the Washington Sports Club near me only offered classes at the most inopportune times, and the only one I could make was the 6:30 p.m. Tuesday class, which meant getting changed at work, a hellish 40-min. commute on the Red Line (anyone familiar with the DC Metro system knows the Red Line always seems to be delayed for one reason or another), a quick jog to the gym … and arriving to class a sweaty, breathless mess.
I was in no condition at that point to tune out, relax, rejuvenate, focus on my mind-body connection, or let myself go, try as I might.
Even when the instructor dabbed luscious lavender essence on the insides of our wrists (which tickled me more than anything) I couldn’t truly find my own inner sanctity, despite the soothing, calming elixer.
Sure, yoga as a sport had many things going for it for me. Years of dancing rendered me flexible even in my 20s, and I caught on quickly. I found getting into the poses to be challenging, yet liberating once I figured them out. And when I could hold a pose a little longer each week without faltering, or sink into my own breath better, I felt surges of pride. I’d even watch my body in the mirror and (wow!) appreciate the gentle curves I saw.
But unfortunately for me and those who love me, I am not a patient person, and I know the practice can take years and years to master.
So when I found myself hemming and hawing over going to class or hitting the cardio machines and the weight bench, I gave up, not giving yoga the chance it deserved.
Truth be told, I don’t think I tried hard enough.
I mean, what was I was expecting, miracles? That I’d start yoga classes and suddenly find enlightenment?
Um, hello, Melissa…Yoga is an art, a process, a practice, a devotion, a way of life. (Yogis, feel free to insert any other appropriate adjectives).
Not surprisingly, given my track record, I fell victim to impatience, and the mental blocks paralyzing me.
Thoughts like, “I’m at the gym, I should be sweating. This is a waste of my time!”
Or, “OMG, I didn’t e-mail my boss that final draft before I left! I’m screwed!”
My mind seems to always be wandering. When talking to someone, I’m often multi-tasking: listening to what they’re saying; trying to not scratch a mosquito bite that is annoying-the-hell-out-of-me; thinking about if I have time to stop and get gas on the way to the bank before it closes at 5; wondering if we ran out of apples at home. It never seems to turn off.
So as you can see, I am a most excellent candidate for yoga.
And now, I think I am ready to give it another chance, to see what classes exist around here. My gym is a beef-cake/meat-head gym and doesn’t offer them, but I am sure I can find something. Maybe I’ll even ask a friend to join me.
How about you? Do you practice yoga, and if so, how has it changed your life?