Reflections on Yoga Last Night

This post is not a review, it is not informational, it’s just me. I haven’t really written many of these posts as I have set up this blog to be more of a resource than a journey. However, I had some reflections on my yoga class that I attended last night, and this seemed the most applicable outlet for that.

yoga

(Photo credit: GO INTERACTIVE WELLNESS)

To start, I haven’t been to a yoga class in just under 4 years. I started going during a huge transition in my life when I found myself restless, stressed, worried, and missing someone very very much. I hadn’t slept well for two weeks. There was a yoga studio next to my dance studio and I decided to take a drop-in class one evening. Slept. Like. A. Rock. I don’t know if it was the physical exhaustion from sweating out half your body weight in a 100 degree room, or if I was actually able to find center and clear my mind long enough to fall asleep. But it was miraculous.

I kept it up until I either ran out of time, or money. I can’t recall which. Either way, I eventually fell out of it. I don’t even remember if I missed it. But I did remember how good it made me feel. Yet, I’ve been afraid to go back. I’m not sure where that’s coming from. I thought, perhaps I feared I would be “bad” at it after all this time. But I’m the kind of person who’s up for anything. I learned a long time ago to stop caring how I perceived myself in learning  a new skill. Everyone starts in the same place. I don’t even care if people judge me for “sucking” anymore. Whatev’s. This is my journey and I’m here for me.

I have yet to answer this question for myself. But last night, I went back to yoga. My schedule got all mish-mashed having to work late Tuesday night; so I decided to do an extra day at ME Fitness in NE Portland. After a quick TRX blast class, and 30 minutes on the ‘gluteal’ setting on the elliptical, I mustered up a pretend confidence and dropped in on the last yoga class of the night.

I giggle a little on the inside at hearing the CD of chimes and “Ommm’s” in the background. The perfectly 78 degree room warmed me from the inside out. I was excited for a good stretch after a hard 3 days of gym/dance/muay thai. I placed my rental mat on the empty floor and stashed my things in a cubby. I return to my mat to find that I have placed it in the wrong direction now that other students were arriving and eyeballing my miss-placed set up.

I lowered myself onto my newly correctly orientated mat, and started slowly stretching out in a very non-yogi style. Class begins and I’m delighted and disappointing at the same time. It was harder than I remember.

I’m never one to turn down a physical challenge, so I welcomed the extra workout after my previous hour. But, I was hoping for more of a pure stretch out. I understand there are many different types of yoga. I guess this one isn’t the stretchy kind. I enjoyed it regardless. I learned some new ways to pretzelfy myself in some position named after a bird. We performed lots and lots of downward dog, achieving an always needed entire-back-of-the-leg stretch.  I found myself wishing I hadn’t just ellipsed for 30 minutes prior. My shaking legs made me feel weak and disappointed in my performance. I decided I didn’t care. As long as I was pushing myself as hard as I could, I would be getting something out of it.

Next we moved to inverted positions. Well, I attempted to move to an inverted position. I can do a headstand all day long in a tripod position. Not so much in the elbows-on-the-floor-hands-behind-head position. I tried my hardest not to look like a duck chasing fish under the water with my tail feathers flitting around in the air. Also, I forgot about the T4 syndrome I’m recovering from. Owie. Guess I won’t be trying that again any time soon. Disappointing but probably a good idea.

Lastly, we returned to the floor to slow down, find center, and practice a few of our own “Oooommm’s”. At first I felt goofy, always starting a second after the others, but a smile crossed my face as I relished in the harmonies we were making. The lower voices of the lone male yogi, and the varied soft female voices created a harmonious chord which truly brought me joy. The energy gave a final peace to my evening.

I left feeling accomplished in the challenged and a little more tired than expected. But I remembered the familiar calm and comfort from 4 years prior when the practice was a necessity.  I drove home with a clear head and a calm mind.

Today, my neck is reminding me that I forgot about its injury, but otherwise, still relishing in the experience. However, I still have a hesitation about going back. Though I know that as soon as I get there I will be glad I did. I’m wondering where this internal reluctance is coming from. It is always thwarted once my feet are on the mat.

Any thoughts? Have you experienced this with things in your life?
Do you do Yoga? What is your favorite thing about it?

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