Sunday, March 8, 2009

Demystifying Yoga

I was there. Yoga was some freaky, Eastern religion-type activity reserved for ninjas and hippies. It was the picture of a woman dressed in white, sitting crosslegged with her fingers forming perfect circles, a serene smile on her face while she says, “Ohmmmmmmmmm.”

I’ve been a member of the Y for several years, but have never stepped foot in a yoga class. I had no desire to. If I wanted to lose weight, I was going to stick to the cardio machines and the weight room. Yoga wasn’t real exercise. Besides, I have the flexibility of a 2x4. The real yoga people would probably laugh at my weak attempts. And I refuse to wear a leotard.

I did buy a DVD on ebay- Yoga Booty Ballet. Those darn infomercials! I don’t think I got through the whole session before I got fed up with “opening your heart to the sun” and other new-agey type talk. Yoga was definitely not for me.

Then I met Ann. Ann has been a family friend for many years, but just started caring for my children a few years ago. Ann is not a hippie, but she’s an artist, and she eats a lot of organic and vegetarian food, and she’s a yoga instructor. Ann would never push anything on anybody, but when another mom, Lisa, and I started talking about how stress was affecting our lives, she suggested yoga. I was interested, but unconvinced.

Months later, when Ann’s next series of classes was due to start, I had conveniently forgotten to sign up. I was so busy that I didn’t want to take one more night out a week for something like yoga. I told Lisa I wasn’t going. She called me 13 minutes before the start of the first class and told me I should come because there was a no-show. I went, reluctant and full of misgivings.

It was a blast. I’m still as flexible as a 2x4, but so are Maribel and Lisa, my two friends. We laugh at each other, in a good-natured way. Some of the poses are really hard, but I’ve never backed down from a challenge. I’m getting more flexible, and really working my muscles, especially my abs. After each workout, I feel like a weight has been lifted. I’ve had more energy and less stress.

So, never say never. Always be willing to try something new. Even yoga!

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