Rediscovering My Inner Yogi

Posted: June 3, 2016 in Yoga
Tags: , ,

Now that I’ve determined how much I absolutely suck at Aquafit, I have started to look at what other options are available at our YMCA during this time period while the girls are getting their Aquafit on.  As luck would have it, there is a yoga class that goes on at the same time.

Perfect!

I used to really get into my yoga way back when; four to five times a week as a matter of fact.  It’s actually one of the primary reasons I attribute my getting to the starting lines at both Cancun 70.3 and Ironman Wales in the shape I was in.  I first started at my YMCA and shortly afterwards graduated joining a local yoga studio where I learned the in’s and out’s of participating in “real” yoga sessions at a proper “ashram” (click HERE).

You may read that as “uninjured”.

The benefits of yoga are already pre-established within the posts of this blog.  At one one, yoga was the only form of strength-based workouts I did.  But then after Wales I needed a bit of a break from…everything.  Eventually, I slowly got back into swimming, cycling and running but, yoga?  Not so much.  My excuse is that there wasn’t a “satisfactory” yoga studio out here that I could visit regularly.  So my yoga practice took a sharp U-turn to Splitsville.  I did try to kick start my practice a few years ago and, well, it didn’t go so well (click HERE).  But seeing as how I’m now trying to focus my efforts on strength building and core given that the EPiC Challenge is off (click HERE) I figured, “hey, let’ giv’er another shot?  What the hell.”

It was like fate had finally smiled down on me.

So the plan was to spend my Wednesday evenings doing some plyometrics and weights specially aimed at building explosive cycling and running power and then cap it all off with a nice and relaxing yoga session afterwards to focus on my core and injury prevention.

Did you hear that?

“Relaxing”.

Ha!

Anyway, as I sauntered into the gym area where the session was being held I noticed a particular lack in the usual hippie-dippie New Age tattoos and fashionable athletic wear.  I mean, it is my local YMCA after all but, regardless, given my distaste for the holier-than-thou “culture of yoga” I began to think that this might actually go pretty well.

WINNING!

Suck it, Aquafit!

I unfolded my dusty yoga mat, slipped off my shoes and socks and readied myself to be “transformed”, or “blissed out”, or whatever the fuck it is they do in yoga.  I forget.

Unfortunately, the first words out of the instructor’s mouth were not would I would consider as being “transforming”:

“Today, we’re going to focus on opening up our hip flexors”.

Fuck.

To put this in perspective, and speaking for most regular runners/cyclists, “opening up our hip flexors” would rank right up there with “pouring battery acid down our pants”, or “claw our eyes out with garden tools” as far as motivating statements are concerned, specifically since I haven’t participated in any instructor-lead yoga sessions for at least two years.

This was going to suck.

And suck it did.

The next 55 minutes or so, we were lead through the usual series of poses and asana’s and at every turn I felt like my either my hips were going to rip apart, or my spine was going to snap like a dry pretzel.  At one point, she demonstrated the “bird of paradise” asana and I can only imagine the look on my face.

It probably read somewhere along the lines of:

I swear, I almost walked out then and there.

Definitely not WINNING!

Oh, and “crow pose”?

Fuggetaboutit!

Of course, this was all largely in part due to the fact I haven’t participated in a well disciplined yoga class for so long, but also because I was still fatigued from the 60 minutes worth of hopping, leaping and skipping I did previously.  So, basically, it was about as far removed from “relaxing” as it was going to get and I couldn’t have been more wrong.  My intentions were good, of course, but the reality of the situation was less than pretty.

Eventually, she invited us to lie down on our mat to begin our warm down and, I swear, I think a single tear rolled down my cheek.  I was that relieved.  However, this was some good news though at this point.  As it turns out, I can still Shavasna like a champ.

Yay me!

I still plan on keeping with it as my schedule allows.  But if anything, this class reminded me of how far I’ve strayed from being a ‘yogi’ as well as how much work it’s going to take me in order to feel somewhat comfortable on the mat again.  Fortunately, I have a whole year to get reacquainted with my practice.

In a way, it’s kind of my practice coming full circle again in that I’m back at the YMCA where I first started and I think that there’s something pretty apropos about that so I’m taking it as an ultimate sign that it’s time to get my bendy-twisty on once again.

Let’s do this.

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