Thursday, June 3, 2010
Tonight is yoga night - yippee! I started taking yoga classes back in February to help with my back problems. A few years ago, I was in the shower and lifted up my arms and felt a pop in my neck...and it's been an ongoing struggle ever since with my back. I'm hypermobile in all my joints (minds out of gutters, people) so my ribs, neck and vertebrae pull out of place really easily - super duper not fun. I was seeing a naturopath late last year and mentioned this to her as a recurring issue and she suggested yoga as a way to increase flexibility and train the body to move back into place when stretched rather than coming out. At that point I was desperate to try anything as I'd be popping out of place every few weeks or so.
I was hesitant to sign up as I'd taken a class about 15 years ago and the instructor was this total yoga nazi. He'd come along and make corrections which I'm OK with - but he'd kind of snap at you and it'd be so intimidating. Definitely not my cup of tea.
I decided to sign up for a class at my local rec centre and I gotta say - I loved it from the get go. My running workouts are hard on the body - no question about that - so it's nice to do a form of exercise that is more fluid and gentle. My back (knock on wood) has been doing a million times better and it's not aching as much. I've increased my flexibility and hopefully will prevent future injuries. But the best thing I've gotten out of it that I didn't really expect is the stress relief and connecting the mind and body.
For the 60 minutes or so that I'm in there, I'm able to let go of the shite of the day and be 100% present. And there's a whole spiritual side that I didn't even know about - seriously, almost every instructor (except for yoga nazi guy) I've had has this happy, warm glow about them that draws you in. They're so chill. One instructor had us try this technique where you envision your heart as a bright white crystal, and all the bad crappy stuff that you need to let go of is a coloured filter. So when you're having a bad day, you'd envision your heart changing from the coloured filter (I chose red) going back to a shiny white crystal and it's supposed to help you let go. Sounds nuts, right?
Well, unfortunately there's been a few instances recently where I've been completely raging at someone and wanting to beat them to a fine pulp *delicate cough* so decided to try this...and I have to say, it worked. I felt better - I no longer wanted to go medieval on this person anymore. I was a bit surprised - for those of you who don't know me personally, I'm the most non-hippy-granola person ever. I'm an accountant for cryin' out loud...you don't get anymore practical and uptight than me! But I thought hmmm...those yogis are onto something - who am I to argue with thousands of years worth of practice? I started off doing yoga purely for the physical benefits but now I'm thinking I might explore the spiritual side too. AFTER the marathon though - one thing at a time!