I went to a free yoga class today.
The pity is - I haven't done yoga in so long that my attempt today was almost pathetic.
When I lived in Omaha, my gym included yoga classes in the membership. So for something like $35 -$40 a month I had access to weights, yoga and a swimming pool among other things that I never bothered to take advantage of. (like aerobics - ick)
I was a convert. I've always had very tight muscles (shoulders, hamstrings) which led to back and hip problems. For years, everyone from my chiropractor to physical therapist to my general practitioner were giving me pamphlets demonstrating the stretches they wanted me to do. Pah. I didn't do them.
Then when I joined the gym, I thought yoga classes sounded good.
Chiropractors and Physical Therapists everywhere were ecstatic! Overjoyed! These were exactly the exercises they wanted me to do and now I was doing them! Success!
And I felt great.
I preached the yoga gospel to everyone I knew. (for the record, I concentrate on stretching yoga - not spiritual yoga so it doesn't conflict with my faith as some people have expressed concern)
So when I moved to Denver I tried a couple yoga classes but they weren't the same as Yoga Gary's class in Omaha.
Some spent half the class on breathing and reminding me to breathe out of my eyebrows.
Shut up. I just want to stretch.
In addition to that, classes charged $7-$15 per class. 3-4 days a week and that adds up when you don't make much money in the first place. So I just stopped doing yoga.
Sure. I bought some DVDs but of course I never bothered to do them.
Today, I went to a place that I found near work. They offer a free one-time class so I thought I'd check them out. Plus I have a decent job now so maybe I can join.
Oh... I was so stiff. Once I got into the positions it felt so good to work out the cobwebs. And the class went a little faster than I'd like - only because I wanted to spend more time in position - stretching to make the most of it.
After class - they offered me a card for 6 days of classes - FREE! The only catch is it's 6 consecutive days - not six classes. So I should be pretty bendy by the end of the week! Whoo hoo.
My Yoga Testimony~
As a kid I took Gymnastics and loved it.
In college, I took a gymnastics class one semester - followed by a modern dance class another semester just for the exercise. Also loved it.
In each of those practices - you warm up with various stretches to keep you limber and flexible.
When I started yoga, I realized that all the stretches were the same. Not only that, but they were the same stretches ALL of my health professionals were trying to push on me.
I also realized that various cultures have been practicing yoga (or something like it) for thousands of years - and it's still around.
Well - hit me with a pitchfork.
Suddenly it was clear.
A body MUST stretch and move to be it's best. If there is a fountain of youth - it is yoga. If you haven't tried it yet, I highly recommend it.
I feel SO good.