“There will be days when I don’t know if I can run a marathon.
There will be a lifetime knowing that I have.”
Sometimes I do things completely on a whim. This seems to create quite the upheaval in my household. I’m not quite sure why, but it does.
I received an e-mail early this year from a local Yoga studio. I believe that at some point last year I had researched this particular studio because it was so close, and because my step-daughter had told me about these Hot Yoga classes she had attended in her neighborhood. It sounded so intriguing, I thought I’d look to see if there were one close to me. Somehow, it must have not caught my interest because I completely stopped pursuing the idea.
Lo and behold, a year later I get this e-mail offering a free class for beginners. It was to be held on a Saturday, and there were no obligations to attend.
In the far reaches of my mind, I was thinking about how stiff I’ve been recently, and how I find it ever increasingly hard to stay devoted to my daily stretching exercises that were prescribed by my PT. Sure, I do some of them. But I don’t do all. And since the majority of them are Yoga moves anyway, I may as well give this a try. It’s a Saturday, after all…and I’m always looking for an excuse to get out of the house.
My husband’s first response to this whim was “Do you really think you need anymore exercise?”
Of course, me, trying to explain to him that it wasn’t really the kind of exercise he envisioned, is like him trying to explain to me how a catalytic converter works. It ain’t happening.
“Honey,” I responded, “yes, to an extent, it is exercise, but for me it is more about stretching and lengthening and becoming more limber…and finding my inner peace.”
With that, he rolled his eyes and snickered in only the way my husband can and said, “Well, I guess I get the stretching part. It will be like going to PT but it costs a lot less.”
Well, yeah…sort of.
“And it’s free? There must be a catch.”
“Not that I can see,” I responded.
I took that conversation as an ‘It’s OK to go’ from him…and I went.
Needless to say, I fell in love immediately. They offered a free week to use the facility and attend as many classes as you wanted to. I attended almost all of them, going sometimes twice a day, to determine if some classes worked better for me than others.
After the free week, we got the option to sign up for an unlimited month of classes for half price. I grabbed it. And I was rather shocked to have my husband tell me I should go ahead and join since I was seriously enjoying it so much.
Since then, I have been attending regularly, every other day, and twice on the weekends. It has been delightful! Of course, I’m drawn to the sweaty stuff, like the Hot Fusion which is performed in a 90° room, and the Vinyasa II class which works on the same warm room premise. But I have really enjoyed the Gentle Yoga class and the Yin Yoga as well, which focuses on form and breathing. I still need to learn how to breathe. I’ve always known I was a breath holder, but I now realized how often I hold my breath after attending these classes.
Some things I’ve noticed immediately, is that inner thigh irritation I get from not engaging my glutes while I run seems to tame itself after a few yoga sessions. I’ve also become way more limber, and can finally reach my hands to the floor again while bending at the waist. I never thought I’d see that again. But, at the same time, I’m a wee bit embarrassed at how limber I am not and how my balance is not nearly what it should be. Trying to get into some of those poses is like trying to tie a pretzel stick into a knot.
I’m also learning to breathe better. I’m actually trying to make it a habit. If I continually tell myself to breathe, eventually, it’s got to stick.
I LOVE the fact that I can’t bring any electronics into the studio. This mean no texts, no phone calls, no distractions for an entire 60-75 minutes. Because of that, I really do believe I’m learning to discover my inner peace.
The one thing I hate about it, is that my husband insists on calling it Yogurt Class.
“How was your Yogurt Class? Did you make lots of Yogurt today?”
This is equivalent to taking your fingernails and scraping them down the surface of a chalkboard for me. I don’t know why, but it is irritating as hell. I suppose it is another reason why I chose to try out a Yoga class in the first place (that inner peace thing).
I was also delighted to learn that if I attend 12 classes a month, my insurance company will reimburse me $20 for that month! Sure, it’s not a gold mine…but it’s something.
My month ends on February 21st, and already I plan to extend my membership after that. Right now, it fits into my schedule, and I’m really enjoying it. It helps me focus, it helps me breathe, it helps me get limber and stretch, and I think it really does help me find my inner peace. I have to admit, some of it is a little hokey…even for me…but for the sake of the true Yogi doing the instructing and those in the class, I’ll let it fly and play nice.
“Yoga is not about touching your toes, it is what you learn on the way down.”
Have you tried Yoga? Do you do it regularly? Are you a believer?
Congratulations to Amy Scott-Lundy! She won the überfit giveaway sponsored by überfit apparel here on Neon Is My Color! überfit will contact you directly, Amy. Enjoy your apparel!
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Why I’m #bulletproof
A while back I posted my journey to becoming Low Carb/High Fat and the benefits it has brought forth. In one of my recipes, Bulletproof Coffee, I discussed how the founder of the mixture, Dave Asprey, began his own journey and as an entrepreneur, developed his own brand of coffee as well. I had suggested that you could just substitute any coffee in the mix, but I have since recanted my original suggestion.
I had this crazy notion to do some running this year. Yeah, I know. Crazy, right?
In all crazy seriousness, and trying to decide what I could do this year that was totally different, I thought I’d aim for 15 total events for the year 2015. But upon further inspection of my racing history, I found that in 2013 I actually ran 16 events! Pfffft. This will not do.
OK, so lets up the ante. How about 20 events? Including 2 marathons! I think that might be the ticket. Hmmmmm. Let’s check the calendar and see which I’m already on board for and how many more I need to delegate.
As I was getting my jacket on to leave the Yoga studio this morning, I couldn’t help but over hear the women in attendance having a discussion with the instructors du jour. The topic: How January is the most attended month of the year…as far as Yoga Studios and Fitness Centers go. And how waiting just one more month will reduce the traffic by 50%. One month after that, and just the die-harders remain, or the ones that come on a regular basis, week after week, year after year.
The ones that “get it” was what I heard.
A lot of people ask me why I started running. Then they ask me why I run marathons. The funny thing is, the answers are completely different. One doesn’t in any way relate to the other. I started running to drop those few dreaded pounds that I just couldn’t shake after a year of Beachbody workouts. It was more of a decision to fix something that was broken. I wanted to repair my health and well being and get myself to a place where I knew I was doing all I could for the benefit of my husband and children. I wanted to be here for them, both in the physical sense and in the healthy physical sense. What good is a wife and mother who is always miserable because she can’t function because of her lifestyle choices? Besides, being run down all the time and on anti-anxiety medication wasn’t fun for me, either.