I was looking to step out of my comfort zone and participate in a class that wasn’t a part of my typical exercise routine. I know so many people enjoy yoga for stretching, breathing and relaxation. But the first few times I tried it, it didn’t seem to be working for me.
The class was not easy. There were poses that made my mouth drop as I was supposed to be breathing and concentrating on the stretch. I would attempt to hold my pose as sweat would trickle down my skin. The low lights and soft music didn’t relax me, it gave me time to think about all the things that I needed to do that day. My body was twisting in positions that would make an eighth grade boy giggle and develop some funny joke. Still, every class that I attended was packed with participants. I was intrigued by what would draw all these people to this type of work out. I was determined to stick with it and continue with what I had started.
But I just didn’t like it yet. I bought a new yoga mat for incentive. Every yoga picture I saw featured a muscular man holding up his body with only his arms and an equally talented woman with toned muscles, perfectly flat abs, and a tiny waist comfortably tucked in a slender sports tank and low rise yoga pants. It lured me. If she achieved and maintained that body from yoga, I would at least give it a chance. (And if she didn't, don't spoil it for me!)
So each week, I claimed my spot in the room and unrolled my new mat. I tried to let my thoughts go and actually focus on my breathing. I challenged myself to try poses that I hadn’t been able to do before. I forced myself to take an hour to not think about my responsibilities of the day. I found a favorite class and teacher. And little by little, I started to like yoga. By far, my favorite part is the end when we do the relaxation pose. The lights are turned down, the room is nearly silent and I am lying on my back allowing every muscle in my body to relax. I have only fallen asleep a handful of times. And as the lights come on and I slowly open my eyes, I think, “Ahh, peace at last.”