Class Exercise

i finally did it. i got off my lazy butt, and dragged myself to the Y for my first Yoga class.

i was pretty nervous at first. i had actually planned on going to last week’s class, but didn’t. then i thought about going to a Saturday Pi-Yo class, but didn’t make it to that either. i just don’t like group exercising. if i’m going to grunt and sweat and melt the fat off my body, i want to do it alone. i want to turn up my music, and lose myself in a wave of angry shouting and strong beats. i want to put my body on auto pilot while my mind wanders and tries desperately to forget that it’s burning and sweating.

i can’t put my body on auto pilot when i’m exercising with someone else. “someone else” always expects me to talk to them. they want me to sweat with them, and find camaraderie in our exercise… but i just don’t like it. i don’t want to talk to someone while i’m exercising- it’s hard enough for me to breathe without shoving speech into the equation. when there’s someone else huffing and puffing and sweating next to me i have a hard time finding my “zone”, and because of that i can’t put my body on autopilot. my workout ends up being ten times more unpleasant and harder to do.

group exercising is is worse, because there are so many people there to compare myself to. i usually don’t know a soul in the room, and with the typical drill-sargeant for an instructor, i just don’t find exercise classes fun.

BUT, my husband is paying for our membership at the Y. the classes there are free with membership, and i desperately need some sort of upper body strength and flexibility training to counteract my cycling cardio. i can feel my body wanting to seize up, stiff as a stone after cycling…. if i don’t start doing a more rigorous stretch, i’m going to end up stiff as a board in my old age.

the Yoga class fits in perfectly with my life. i take my son to school in the morning, then head straight to the Y with plenty of time to get my daughter checked into daycare and my stuff stored in a locker. it’s only once a week, so it gives me 7 whole days for my sore muscles to recover.

the class is an hour and twenty minutes long.

that may seem like a really long time to exercise, but Yoga is more than just exercise. it is meditating, and stretching. it is relaxing and holding poses until you find your core. the class i attended was pretty full, but not over-packed. i was afraid that i would be the worst in the bunch, or just not fit in, but i was pleasantly surprised.

there were people there of all skill levels. there were people there of all shapes, sizes and nationalities. every adult age and gender attended. it was, in fact, the most diverse bunch of people i’ve ever seen in one room. i thought it was great, because in such a diverse bunch of people, nobody fits in. by having nobody fit in, everybody fits in. i still felt slightly paranoid and uncomfortable, but not nearly as much as i expected to.

the instructor did a very good job leading us through a series of stretches and poses, ranging from easy, to difficult, and back to easy over the hour+ that we were there. in the most difficult poses, she gave us several variations on different skill levels to do. throughout the class, there were some people who chose to do the most difficult, some people who chose the simplest, and some people who didn’t do it at all.

i fell in comfortably at the middle of the class. i wasn’t the worst or the best, the skinniest or fattest. i wasn’t the oldest, although i probably made a good effort towards being the youngest- about half the women there were either as young or close in age to me. (there was 1 man)

over all, it was a positive experience. the instructor was very helpful and didn’t push anybody past their skill limit. there weren’t any obvious cliques, and i wasn’t the only person who had never been to that class before.

i’m going to try and make that same class every week, while still following the Namaste Yoga program on television. as i worked my way through class, i realized that the television program gave me a good base knowledge of Yoga poses and what to expect. having guidance in the form of a real-life instructor was better than the tv program, but i was definitely better off for having that base knowledge.

this morning, though, i think i’ll pass on the Yoga training. my shoulders, pecs, outer thighs, and outer ab muscles are pleasantly KILLING me. i’ll do my regular cycling and stretching to avoid getting too stiff, but that’s about it. 🙂



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