Thursday, October 19, 2006
Rediscovering Yoga - I Love It!
I was so busy last weekend and throughout most of this week that I didn't have time to rave on here about the Hot Yoga class I took last Saturday. It was a busy errand day and I barely made it there. I seriously considered skipping the class I'd signed up for altogether.
However, I decided to bite the bullet and take the class. Boy am I ever glad I did.
When I was a young teenage girl, I started watching a PBS show called, "Lilias, Yoga and You." It featured this beautiful tall thin brunette young woman who was in amazingly good shape. She did Yoga, which I'd never heard of before, but tried to emulate her poses from my living room floor as I watched, spellbound, and wondered if I really was doing The Dog or The Lion in correct posture. I even went out and bought her book with my hard-earned babysitting money! But it was hard holding those pages down while trying to copy the contorted poses to the best of my ability. Even then, I wasn't very flexible or agile. I admired not only the physical exercise involved, but even more, the serenity that Lilias demonstrated. I, too, wanted to be that calm (I've always been high-strung).
After that brief soujourn into Yoga, I put away my Yoga mat but have remained fascinated with it (from afar) ever since. I've been hearing about this Hot Yoga craze, so I decided to try it with the class last week. It was a one-time only class that said, "Stretching postures and breathing exercises are taught in a safe environment of a heated room so that deep penetration can relieve one's body resistence without risking injury. By gently stretching muscles and joints as well as massaging the various organs, yoga ensures the optimum blood supply to various parts of the body, helping to flush out toxins. By the end of class, each person will have worked every muscle tendon, joint, ligament and glance, while moving fresh oxegeneated blood to 100% of the body. Bring Yoga mat, water and towels to class." The class was 90 minutes long.
Guess what? When I came into a dimly litted room that was very warm (about 100 degrees) and it had scented air (lavendar) with a very calm, soothing and relaxing Eastern music, I instantly loved the atmosphere. They started by instructing us on correct breathing, then the teachers led us into a gentle but sweat-drenching series of poses that flowed gently, from one to the other. When you were in the wrong posture, there were helpers there who came up to you and silently and gently guided your body into the correct posture. By the time I did 90 minutes of the most soothing, calming and spiritual workout I've ever done, I was so relaxed and serene I felted like I didn't even HAVE a body. Lilias type serenity, here I come! (By the way, I see from the Internet, that Lilias is now 64 years old, but looks wonderful and still teaches Yoga). Although Lilias' long dark braid has been replaced by a short, perky hairstyle, and she's obviously aged over the past 30+ years, she still looks fantastic.
I thought I couldn't possibly do ANY exercise for 90 minutes, but I did. The instructors showed us how alter the poses for beginners, which made everything doable without injury. We ended with a peaceful meditation. I want to do it all again!!!
Luckily there's a new yoga shop just opened up near my house. I'm going in there Saturday and signing up. I've found my perfect workout. Days later, I could pleasantly FEEL all those muscles and tendons I'd stretched. I wasn't sore, but just aware that I'd had a great workout. I'm going back for more.
I left that Yoga session more relaxed than after the full body massage my family gave me for my birthday last year. This gentle workout was WAY more relaxing and serenity-inducing than even that.
By the way, the room was scented with lavendar oil and the peaceful music they played during the session is called "Oriental Sunrise" by Riley Lee.