Candlelight Yoga

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Namaste plaque at Gordmans

The very best part about health and fitness is being able to share it with family and friends. M is super supportive with the food and friends make exercising so much more fun! Today my college BFF Rachel asked me to attend a candlelight yoga class with her which is totally out of my comfort zone. I hate feeling like the weakest one in class or feeling like everyone is judging me. But how can you say no to quality time with a friend? Double whammy how can you say no to quality time with a friend when it reaches your fitness goal for the day too? Answer: You can’t. And honestly I’m not going to get anywhere in life if I’m always afraid of what others are thinking of me or even more important what I am thinking of myself. Because yes there might be one or two people judging me for a second but mostly I’m guessing they are focusing on themselves and the class. So really the only person holding me back is actually myself and I am not okay with that.

In general I like to try new things whether it’s food, genre of book, new vacation spot, occasionally a new clothing item I normally wouldn’t buy, or something else. What I really don’t like though is the very first time I try something new. I’m a lot like my oldest niece in that respect, she wants to try something new but will ask a zillion questions in the weeks and days leading up to that new thing so she is as prepared for it as much as possible and doesn’t look foolish. So I asked Rachel a bunch of questions since she had taken a class from this yoga studio earlier in the week. What pants do I wear? What shirt do I wear? Do I wear shoes, socks, or are we barefoot? Where is it? Is it hot? Should I bring water? How many people show up? Are they all crazy flexible? What’s the teacher like? You get the idea. But I showed up ready to give it my best shot.

We arrive and I take off my shoes and socks, hang up my coat, take a towel and a mat and of course find a place at the very back of the class. The instructor lights candles, turns the lights down low, and begins playing music. I have a limited knowledge of yoga but have done enough to know a few of the poses which was good because the instructor wasn’t all that great at detailing each one. The poses and duration of stretch was pretty high considering it was supposed to be a beginners class. There were no modifications. Which was good in the fact that it made me push my body a little harder and kept my stamina higher but bad in the way that it made me feel less comfortable in the class and I’m sure I suffered quality of stretching/posing for duration. That’s how the first two-thirds of the class went. Then we switched over to some yin yoga poses which is more on the ground work where you hold it for a few minutes at a time and really relax into it. This was very relaxing. My favorite pose the “dead mans pose” (or whatever it’s actually called) is the one where you lay flat on your back with all parts of your body in total relaxation. The jaw, the neck, the shoulders, the legs, the arms, the hands etc.  Then the instructor comes around and gives a brief massage with “mojo oil”. I have no idea what it was but it was very relaxing. And then the hour was up.

Now that I know more of what to expect at a yoga studio I’ll feel much more comfortable trying another class. In fact Tuesday we decided to take on hot yoga. So here’s to accepting the invitations the world hands you to go outside your comfort zone because if nothing else you have challenged your body and mind into something different and that can only lead to growth.

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