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When Yoga Isn’t Relaxing

By Susan Schade
 
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People do yoga for many different reasons: fitness, relaxation or stretching, just to name a few. I have found a class that seems to be a good weekly addition to my exercise routine, called power yoga.

This class focuses on strength moves. The positions are held just long enough to make your muscles burn. The stretches feel like a well-deserved reward, and the relaxation portion is enough to clear my mind and equip me for the busy day that lies ahead of me.

I arrive for my Friday class and greet our instructor with a smile as I put down my things and set up my mat. Some of my fellow class members are already sitting with their legs crossed, hands on their knees and with their eyes closed as they concentrate on their breathing.

It is a small room and accommodates twelve people, at best. The room is dark and the music is quiet and mellow. There is a large, velvet curtain that is pulled across the glass door entrance shutting out the noise, light and stresses from the outside world for an hour.

I welcome the Friday morning as I close my own eyes and focus on the breath that is filling my lungs.

My concentration is broken when the door opens and another person slides in just before the class begins. Does this late person set up her mat quietly in the back?

No, she does not.

As Murphy’s Law would have it, she walks towards the front of the room and unrolls her mat right next to mine, where there is the least amount of room available. The space between her mat and mine is about the length of my hand, certainly no more than four or five inches.

My face turns into a scowl. Certainly, she must know that neither of us can comfortably do the yoga poses this close to one another. She either doesn’t know or doesn’t care. She sits down and closes her eyes.

Standing with her arms extended out to the sides, her entire arm is over my mat, just inches away from my body. Without breaking my pose, I glare at her, shifting only my eyes in her direction. My personal space is being smothered.

We both lose our balance.

Add a Comment3 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

well yoga is perfect for full body exercise
i have tried it.

February 16, 2012 - 10:27pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Focus more on my workout and less on being angry? Yes, definitely. But it can be difficult at times, you are very right : )

February 14, 2012 - 3:33am
RunToTheFinish

i can't help but think things like this in yoga are meant to teach us...they stink, but go back to the whole philosophy of being centered.

February 13, 2012 - 6:11pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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