I made several New Year’s Resolutions this year and I’m proud to say I’ve been doing reasonably well with them. Lose weight, eat healthy, be kinder to others (even when I don’t really want to), organise my home, etc., etc., etc. (Do you hear the quote from The King and I every time you read that last part like I do? I’m a huge musical theatre geek.) Recently though, I’ve joined a wonderful yoga studio here in CT and I have to relate my experience, I’m just so ridiculously happy there!
I’ve been doing yoga since I was a teenager, mostly in my living room with a mat and a DVD. I remember finding a book on it when I was about 14 and trying the poses one summer with my sister and grandma. Over the years, with more and more dance coming into my life, I left the yoga to one side in favour of ballet, tap, and jazz classes. Yoga was my go-to when the classes were on a holiday break though, to “keep in shape.” I’d attend the occasional yoga class in an actual studio but I was never a regular anywhere until I came here to Connecticut.
I moved away from “my” life and now I’m working on creating “our” life with my husband. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, but new things are not without their little stresses and anxieties and uncertainties. I turned to yoga for many reasons, but one of the most important for me is the way it eases my tensions, physical and otherwise, away.
The other benefit is one I’m a little hesitant to really “talk” about. I’ve gained a lot of weight in the past two or three years and I’m actually quite sensitive about it. Believe me, I try to keep my anxieties on this matter to myself–no one wants to hear me moan when my reflection doesn’t actually reflect the way I feel. I used to be quite fit when I was in high school and college and I’ve let things go now without my coaches and dance teachers demanding so much of me physically. One excellent healthy benefit of yoga is to help me slim down and improve the strength in my muscles. I’m trying to be patient but of course instant results would be fabulous. I try to remind myself that anything worth having is worth waiting for, but I attend every yoga class I can in the hopes of speeding things up.
I’ve found that I’ve retained all the flexibility I ever did have, but my strength has fallen short and I’m determined to build it up. I swim laps at the pool on base every week too, but that is mostly an individual exercise (although I do have a fabulous swim buddy!).
I love my yoga studio. I found it about a month ago and I’ve attended as many classes each week as I can. It is so nice to have an instructor that can really get to know me and help me in my practise. I’m naturally shy initially around people I don’t know but I’m starting to open up with some of the other students. It has given me a sense of support that I never really experienced before with my yoga. I tried new poses yesterday evening and it was so nice to know that I wasn’t alone.
This is the second studio I’ve tried up here and it is my choice by far. Sometimes these things take a few tries before you find a good fit, but this one feels clean and fresh and open and friendly inside. The other I attended for a few weeks, by contrast, was painted in very dark colours and I felt like an outsider intruding on their inner harmony. Plus this one is not a “hot yoga” studio, which I find refreshing. Personally, I don’t like hot temperatures when I practise. I think it should be warm in class, but high heat is distracting to me. I hate sweat rolling off me in buckets–I don’t mind working up a good sweat but the kind in hot yoga just makes me feel gross to be honest. It just isn’t for me.
Guess who’s going to yoga tonight!?!?! Yay! And Namaste!
Photo credit: Found on mayurasana.tumblr.com