Tuesday, January 25
Five Reasons to Try Yoga
I was the kid who couldn't perform a cartwheel. The splits? Never did them either. Flexibility wasn't my strong point, so I avoided all activities that required the "f" word. Yoga was among those activities. I always wanted to try it, but I was too scared that I would be laughed out of the class for not being able to touch my shins. Toes were completely out of the question. Last Saturday, Jonathan and I took our first yoga class. It was a beginner's class, but I was still a bit apprehensive. When we walked into Better Bodies Yoga, we were directed to the props room, where we removed our shoes and picked up blocks, straps and blankets. Immediately I was wondering how these things would come into play in our class. My nervousness grew. As it turned out, we knelt on our blankets (which help get your body into alignment) and we used the blocks if we weren't able to reach the ground in front of us (these were for me, obviously). We didn't use the strap. Maybe next time. Regardless of age or level of flexibility, I would highly recommend that everyone try yoga. Here's why: 1.) It's relaxing. Soft music, lots of time for meditation, shoes off....Not only does yoga force you to relax, but it teaches you how to breathe. It's amazing how many of us don't know how to breathe. Breathing deeper puts you at ease. Air is like a drug to your overloaded brain, and we could all use more of it in our lives. 2.) It helps with flexibility and posture. News flash: we don't get more flexible or less slumped with age. However, if we take care of ourselves and stretch every day, we might take on some of the magical powers of 60-somethings like Sting and Trudie Styler. Yes, please! 3.) It aids digestion and massages all of the organs of the body. Enough said. 4.) It brings out your inner hippie. Want to be more in touch with yourself? In yoga, you are forced to listen to your body. Want to master those poses? Your body knows what it can and can't do, and it will respond accordingly. Eco-friendly bottle and hemp bag are optional. 5.) It really is a workout! Even some of the easiest yoga poses will make you sweat. Some of the harder ones will help build lean muscle a la Jennifer Aniston. Yes, please! If you're still a bit unsure of whether or not you're cut out for yoga, think of me and my inflexible self trying unsuccessfully to reach my ankles. I didn't even get close, but I know I will someday, if I keep trying. Jonathan and I will be in class again on Saturday, ready to touch our toes. Or ankles. Or knees. It doesn't matter, I swear. Nobody is watching you. They're too busy trying to reach their own feet.