Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Yoga Bear

OK Claudia. I did it. For the first time ever, I tried Yoga today.

This experience started out about 4 weeks ago as I was perusing the internet looking for venues of physical activity in my neighborhood. I discovered The Yoga Loft located in Woodland Hills, about a 15 minute drive from my front door. I was intrigued, and more so when I discovered that they had an on-line coupon good for unlimited classes for two weeks at a very favorable price. The final clincher was that Eric was interested in trying it out with me. Or should I say, Eric was interested in going, even more than I was interested in experimenting. He has done Yoga before and truly enjoys the experience.

We arrived promptly at 5 and was admitted into a lovely reception area by our teacher who's name escapes me. I would have taken pictures - assuming that they allow that activity - but the demise of my new camera is a topic for another post on another day. Lets just say that the room was appointed with wicker furniture, carved wooden screens and bookshelves, plants, incense, and fabrics very appropriate to the activity at hand. Nice.

Then we found out why the place is called "The Yoga Loft." The yoga happens in the loft! The class was 90 minutes and pleasant. I can't say that I was wild about it, but I did not dislike it at all. The positions - except for the ones requiring me to be on hands and knees which does not happen at all in my world - were easy and fairly reminiscent of the stretching poses that Richard has us do during his classes. Of course the music was very different, as was the atmosphere and intent.

The issue that I have is that I am a very nervous person at the best of times, and this evening I was particularly stressed. When forced to be still, I have a hard time controlling my mind and being in the present. In fact, I think that is the reason that I like crafting like spinning yarn and knitting and making jewelry so much. The tedium of the repetitive task settles me, and I've heard many other crafters say the same thing.

So rather than completely relaxing into the experience, I had to force my mind off of my worries many times. But I do admit that when I could concentrate solely on the breathing exercises and the movements, I did attain a certain state of relaxation and I did feel a little better on departure.

I have two weeks in which to play with this experience. I intend to use them well and figure out if this is an activity that I can pursue or whether I am not the right personality type. The class schedule says that anybody can do Yoga if they have an open heart and an open mind. I do have an open mind. I'm willing to consider the possibility that this may be good for me.

The rest will just have to take care of itself.

3 comments:

Claudia said...

Yay! I am thrilled that you have started down the yoga path. Sometimes it takes a little time to learn how to quiet the mind. It's a challenge for even the most experienced yogi of yogini. Did your instructor mention using a mantra. Your mind says "Let" on the in breath and "go" on the out breath or "So" on the in and "hum" on the out. So hum means I AM. Sometimes a mantra helps keep you in the present moment. I hope you will try it again with an open mind. Oh, I forgot. You are one of my most open minded friend. I love you.

Ang said...

I am so proud of you girl..yahoo for expanding your avenues

Vennie said...

Your mind hopping around from topic to topic during yoga is what some yogis call "the monkey mind". You accept it instead of fighting it. You let the thoughts come, pass, and go on with your breathing. Another trick I learned is to imagine my mind as a large circular room, with doors all the way around the perimeter and me in the center. When a stray thought pops in, I take it gently and escort it to one of the doors, put it behind the door, shut the door and return to the center. Believe it or not, it works!

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