A few weeks ago I decided to give Yoga a try. I have always viewed yoga in a very critical way and I now realize I was judging the practice much in the same way that sometimes society judges a book by its cover. I always viewed yoga as an exercise for super fit women and men who did it just to unwind from their everyday exercise routines. I never once actually gave it a thought that yoga in itself could be an exercise routine that can give varied results on many different aspects of the human body. I especially never thought that a plus size body could get accustomed to doing the poses correctly and actually get any results from it.
Boy was I wrong.
Last night I did my 4th class and here’s what I’ve discovered so far:
- Nobody is perfect. In a room of 15 people, you’ll see people who know exactly what to do, but you’ll also see people who can’t balance, people who can’t reach their toes and people who are just plain lost looking over to the next for guidance. (The latter is me.)
- It’s ok not to know the poses or what they are called, the instructor is there to guide you and in time you’ll begin to recognize them.
- You must breathe. Too often people who start an exercise routine are so entranced in getting it right they forget the simple art of breathing. Taking your time to learn instead of worrying about what you look like is key in this practice and learning to breathe properly and often is part of the journey.
- At some point, you’ll learn to relax your body and that’s when your emotions will come into play and you need to allow it to happen. The first time I felt my body relax was in my second class and I began to feel very insecure. I felt very self-conscious about the way I was doing the warrior pose and it made me feel really sad. My instructor noticed my shift immediately which was amazing and she walked over and asked if I wanted to be adjusted. I said yes and she helped me align myself so that I was doing it correctly. The human touch eased my emotions back into a positive place and it surprised me that something so simple could change the way I felt immediately.
- It gets easier. By the 4th class I was able to recognize names and get into position easier. I was also able to distinguish between pain and discomfort and how to adjust to both and I felt myself feeling much better about the whole yoga experience.
So here I am today, counting down the days to my next yoga class and I’m pleasantly surprised by my excitement. So rather than being frustrated at being a beginner, my advice is to enjoy the experience and learn from it. I’m looking forward to seeing the results in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.