I'm finally getting around to posting about my month of yoga! First of all, I have to brag on my husband for a bit. I was really wanting to focus our gifts this year on experiences rather than things, and what better Christmas gift than 1 month of unlimited yoga?! Not only did I get to go to yoga as often as I wanted, he also offered to watch the kiddo, making it even easier to get my OM on! Big time points in my book hubs...good work!
I have been doing yoga here and there, in bits and pieces for the past 3 or 4 years. I have never gotten very serious about my "practice", but I enjoy going to a good yoga class at the gym, and I have found some great videos online that I like to do at home. It wasn't until this unlimited month that I really got into doing it a lot. My membership was at Core Power Yoga, so the classes I went to were all VInyasa (Power Flow) style and in a 95-100 degree room. All of their classes incorporate some core work which I really enjoyed. While a month isn't enough time to make tons of improvements (yoga has a lifetime of opportunities to improve!), I found myself getting stronger, improving my balance and learning a lot about myself in the process.
Here are 7 things I learned in 30 days of yoga:
#1. I'm crooked. I'm sure most of us are, really...but WOW! It must be all of those mirrors in the classroom. It really made me realize how off balance I am in a lot of the poses! Even things with my arms straight over head, I would find myself adjusting to make myself even.
#2. Transitions create balance. This was one of those things that the instructor focused on in class, and it hit me exactly where I needed it in life. While we were working on focusing on the transitions between poses rather than just thinking about the pose we were headed into. Just like in life, it's not all about where we are headed, but the journey it takes to get there! Though challenging, transitions always land you right where you're supposed to be. How's that for thought provoking?
#3. It's ok to breath loud and say namaste. I guess you can say I'm a shy yogi. I've always been pretty quiet, even mouthing or whispering the "Namaste" at the end of the class. In these yoga classes, the instructors really encouraged us to breath loudly, not worrying about our neighbor. I found that if I was breathing loudly, I couldn't hear my neighbor anyways, so I'm sure they couldn't hear me! It was just one big collective sweaty group of mouth breathers. Ha! I even got myself to say "Namaste" at a normal volume at the end of class. And it felt kinda good!
#4. Yoga can be playful! It's easy to get so hyper-focused in yoga that you forget to have fun with your body! I loved the opportunity to "play around" with some new poses, without fear of looking silly or landing on my face. My favorite was when we got to do "L-kicks". It brought me back to my gymnastics days! I may or may not have been doing those regularly in my kitchen since then...
#5. Change is good. Go to the other side of the room. Am I the only one who goes to the same spot in class every day? WIthout even thinking, I found myself unrolling my mat in the exact same spot each class. One day, I arrived a little later to a full class and gasp had to find a spot on the opposite side of the room. Maybe it was coincidence, but I had the best practice I had ever had. I had a whole new perspective of the class! Ahh...another lovely life metaphor...
#6. It's ok to put yourself in a place of uncertainty. Ok this is the last of the metaphors. One of the instructors in class one day used this phrase "it's OK to put yourself in a place of uncertainty" while we were doing some balance poses. I loved this, because YES, sometimes you have to put yourself in a little uncomfortable position in order to reach new heights. And of course in life, not everything is certain. And some of the best things come out of moments of uncertainty!
#7. Don't wear loose clothing to hot yoga. Last but not least. If you learn nothing from this post, learn this. Do NOT think that your loose running top would be a good thing to wear to hot yoga. I now know why people buy all that cutesy, tight yoga stuff. I wore a big tank top one day and spent the entire class pulling it down (up?) from over my head. No fun! I guess it's a good excuse to shop for my workout clothes. Who am I kidding? I do NOT need an excuse to shop for more workout clothes.
All in all, I had a great experience in my month of yoga. I really got into all those life metaphors, loved the feeling of getting completely sweaty and exhausted, and let's face it, an hour to myself was just heaven in itself! Another thing I learned (bonus here...#8!) was that I really DO like doing yoga at home! I mean, I love the challenges and cues you get in a "real" class, but I kinda missed my living room yoga workouts with my trusty online teachers! I can do the class that my body needs whenever I want! I love those moments in the morning before anyone has woken up, or the quiet evening after the baby is asleep when I can just do me. The only problem is when you get interrupted 4 times in a 30 minute class with a crying baby. (This may have happened recently...) I'll be back for more yoga classes FOR SURE, but until then, you can find me on my mat at home!
how about you?
What's your favorite yoga pose?
Would you rather practice yoga in a class or at home?
TRY YOGA YOURSELF!
Use the code 2FREEWKS360 at any Core Power Yoga location for 2 free weeks!
Must be a local resident and a new student.
It's great to see you! I'm Alyssa and I blog about all the things I've found "essential" in my life as a fit mama and football coach's wife. You'll find all kinds of fun stuff here like workouts, oily info, football stories and more!
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