One of my goals in the last two years has been to try new things and again, thanks to Groupon, I bought 10 classes of Yoga at a place very close to where I live. I am probably the last person to have never tried yoga especially since its huge increase in popularity in the last 8 years. The funny thing is, I always thought I'd like it since it seems 'easy'...it is just stretching right?
This morning was my first class. I wasn't even sure what to wear there. I ended up just wearing cotton pants, a sports bra (not that I thought I'd need it, but its lines matched up with the tank I was wearing) and flip flops with sneakers and socks in a bag. Turns out it is barefoot, so I didn't need the shoes/socks. They let me borrow a mat for my first time and then I waited for class to begin.
While we were waiting for people to get there, many people were stretching. I didn't - I figured that is what the class was for. And I really don't know too many stretches, I am not one of those athletic types. The teacher told me that while this was a level one class, that her classes are generally harder than other level ones. Yikes. Maybe I should have stretched.
We start out breathing and this was awkward for me. The insanely deep breaths, I could barely keep myself from laughing. Then we did this thing with breathing in/out of our nose and the nose in the room was so animal like. All I could think of is snot getting everywhere...I guess that is why there were tissue boxes lined up against the wall.
So we begin stretching, and then get into some of the yoga positions. As a newbie, I had to keep looking around because I don't know what baby, downward facing dog, plank, and any of the other positions are called.
For the most part, I felt like I was able to blend into the class. Sure, I might have had a few seconds delay until I realized what I was supposed to do - but once I got there, I did well. There were a few things that gave me some trouble - first in one position, my hands kept sliding on the mat and I had to keep readjusting. Second, plank/half plank...I have zero upper body strength, I was shaking almost the whole way through, but I lasted. Third, I have this hip issue where my hip gets stuck in a position, and I have to gently readjust it - so that factored into one of the positions we did - while I was able to do the position well - getting into/out of it was a little less smooth than everyone else.
I was feeling comfortable with almost everything - and did 98% of the 'optional' slightly more challenging position additions. But it worried me a little that some of the people were making these small breathing noises or noises of discomfort or relief - and I wasn't...why were they feeling it more than me? I didn't think it was too hard, and many times in the positions, didn't think I was stretching enough but couldn't really figure out how to do more without having someone pushing on me. I guess I am pretty flexible.
At one point the instructor came over just to slightly realign my elbow and told me I was doing awesome and she couldnt' believe this was my first time ever.
While standing, from flag pole to whatever it is called when you stretch out your leg behind you and reach towards the front, I did encounter some balance issues on my right leg.
At the end I thought we were going to 'cool down' by some more easy stretching, but she did some sort of meditation - which I found way too long. Sure it felt nice to lay there listening to music, but I don't really know how to relax like that and think of nothing. I started to think about what order to run my errands in, or possible dates I have lined up for the next few weeks, and most importantly, what I wanted to eat when I got home.
Overall, I left there feeling happy I did this before 9am on a Saturday, that I still have the whole day ahead of me. I feel a little 'looser' and am considering taking the morning class tomorrow as well -but worry that I overstretched and haven't felt it yet. I guess I'll find out in a few hours/day.
I am happy I finally got around to trying it. I did in fact enjoy it...and worry that I'd like it enough that after my 10 classes - I'd want to continue but not be able to afford it.