For all my years in the fitness industry, I have avoided this discipline. I will admit a certain type of fear kept me from trying out a yoga class. It was the same fear that kept me from trying spinning (an activity I now love.) You see, at every fitness club I have ever worked, the most “intense” people tended to be the spinners and the yogis. There was a lot of “raw emotion” displayed when choosing bicycles, achieving adequate space between mats or general backlash toward the instructors and, as an employee of the gym, I was often the mediator. So, I stayed away for fear I would be bullied by a veteran if I chose the “wrong” bike, put my mat in the “wrong” spot or didn’t know what I was doing (if these people are that hard on the instructor – how does a newbie stand a chance?)
At the conference this weekend, I got to participate in yoga on the beach. It was a non-intimidating environment because several of my co-workers had never done yoga before and there would be no fighting over space because, well, the beach is quite vast.
At first, my friend and I were giggling at the simplicity of the process – but that was just the warm-up. It rapidly became a feat of flexibility, balance and core strength. I quickly learned that the forward pelvic tilt I have struggled to correct with my functional training was no longer my biggest problem. Instead, I found that the slouched shoulders that come with long hours in front of the computer seemed to be my weak point.
The class ended and not one bead of sweat had dripped down my face. Of course, in the fresh open breeze of an early Sunday morning on the beach that may be expected. In fact, I remained skeptical because I didn’t feel like I had really worked out at all.
Then, on Monday morning, I was in for a rude awakening – I was sore. I was sore in places I didn’t even know I could be sore. I workout often, so I rarely feel that type of soreness that fuels my addiction for more activity (another sort of “runner’s high”.) Well, I felt it and I am still feeling it today! But, I feel good. I feel like I worked hard at something and it was effective for improving my balance, flexibility, core strength and posture.
I feel like yoga is definitely something I want to add to my regular routine, at least once or twice a week.
If you haven’t tried yoga or spinning or some other form of physical activity – don’t let fear stand in your way – just go for it. You never know, you may fall in love with a new way to stay in shape!