Last January, on a whim, I was looking for something to do. Started looking around online for a fitness class. Maybe taebo or dance.. I found a schedule for Om Yoga in downtown McMinnville.. okay, I’ll try that. Go. The class is just finishing as I get there. The time had been changed. Kerry, the owner and instructor, said she’ll stay and do another class with me. Okay! Downward Dog
I started going to classes every week or two. Then, I found and started doing more yoga on yogajournal.com and youtube.com.
Some of the facts that are often confused about yoga. 1. Anyone with use of their limbs, and some without, regardless of age or health can do and benefit from yoga. 2. You do not have to be flexible to do yoga, but yoga will naturally make you more flexible than you were. Don’t be freaked out by all the contortion-esque poses. They are more advanced. Yoga isn’t about doing hard stuff.. it is about strengthening and lengthening your body. You only do what you feel comfortable with. It’s not a competition. 3. Yoga is not a religion. Although a big part of its focus is self-awareness, you are not practicing a religion when you practice yoga… unless a religion of self.
Some things I love about yoga.. 1. It can be as hard or easy as you make it. 2. You don’t need anything but a mat to do it… and really, that isn’t even necessary. It’s just better than most surfaces. 3. It’s low impact. So, it is easy on your joints. I never liked running or anything like that at all for that reason.. I always felt like I was jarring myself to death. 4. You get benefits no matter how much time you give it. You can do a short little ten minutes of it, and it will make a difference. You can do an hour and a half of it, and it will make a big difference. 5. You aren’t doing reps, gagging for breathe or straining while doing yoga. It is an exercise program that you can maintain in some form till death do you part. 6. Because of #5, I find I can do it even on those days I have no energy. I just get up and get started. 7. That first night of yoga, Kerry told me that after you do yoga, you feel like you just gave yourself a massage. SO true! I think that is what keeps me coming back for more.
Honestly, losing weight was never an intention of mine with this. I just wanted to do some sort of exercise on a regular basis to be fitter/healthier. I can definitely tell my body is much toner than it once was. In 2006, so before I had kids, I wrote down my body measurements in my journal… I am sure my post-baby, pre-yoga body wasn’t as firm as it was then. Anyway. From then to now, I’ve lost an inch on all my measurements. Just proof that it isn’t in my head.
Now, I do yoga everyday that I have time. It makes me feel great and gets rid of some of the stress of life. Yoga helps keep your body agile. If I miss more than three days, I can tell a big difference. Everything starts tightening up. Sometimes I go to a class, but most of the time I don’t even leave my house to do yoga. I either go through some poses on my own or pull up a youtube video when I need a little more motivation. I LOVE it! If you need some help getting started, go to a class.. or if you are local, call me/come over and we will do some together! Crow Pose: Two synthetic fibers = Slippage
All the other pictures in this post are of basic yoga poses that you would do in any class and style of yoga. “Beginner” level stuff. This last picture(crow pose) is the first “hard” pose I conquered. It took me several months to figure out what I needed to do and how to do it. I am sure there are some people I know who could just look at it and hop into it, but not I.