I really, really love yoga. As I’ve discussed before, I may even want to do yoga teacher training at some point in the not too distant future. I’ve been practicing yoga 5-6 times a week for the past two and a half years or so. After my first yoga class, I’ll never forget how tired, sweaty, and sore I felt. I don’t remember feeling tranquil or zen. At all. I wish I could tell you what made me want to come back to another yoga class after that. I remember that it was a fairly quiet work week and my husband (then boyfriend) was out of town, so I just went back. I’d say after my third or fourth class, I started to feel hooked. The following weekend I went to the 7:30 class on Saturday morning. I’m not really a morning person, so I was really starting to turn over a new leaf.
Before too long, I was planning my whole week around when I could get to yoga and how I could squeeze in an extra class. I mostly practice yogahour at Capitol Hill Yoga. Yogahour was developed by Darren Rhodes–it is “an accessible, affordable, expertly-taught flow class that offers clear and specific alignment instructions.” It’s different from a typical power yoga class in that there aren’t as many transitions or chaturangas and there are set sequences (a ton of them, so it never gets boring!), so the poses start to feel familiar once you’ve gone to a few classes. I like all forms of yoga, but yogahour will forever be the style of yoga that gave me a consistent practice and I’ll miss it dearly when I move to Chicago. There are dozens of yoga studios in Chicago though, so I really do look forward to finding my new yoga home.
But let’s get to answering the question at hand–why do I love yoga so much? Before yoga, I went to the gym maybe twice a week and really didn’t like any minute of it. I did 20 minutes on the elliptical and 10 minutes on the rowing machine and called it a day. It was always such a chore and yeah, I guess I felt better after having done it, but it was still a drag.
After I got over the initial post-yoga exhaustion, I realized I’d found an exercise routine I didn’t dread–I actually looked forward to it! Seeing a pose, practicing it over the course of days or weeks, and then finally being able to do it was really exciting and something I was clearly lacking in my work out routine. I really like how in yoga you’re totally free to hang out in child’s pose if you’re not feeling 100%–in fact, a good teacher will practically encourage it, they’ll say something very yogi-ish like, “listen to your body and honor it by taking a rest if you need to. Be at your limit, but not beyond it.” You definitely don’t hear that in a spinning class or a barre class.
All this is to say, I like that yoga challenges you just as much as you want to be challenged–no more, no less. And, of course, I like the blissful savasana at the end of class.
Goodbye for meow.