Friday, November 23, 2012

Fitness Experiment 1: Beginner Yoga

Image courtesy: Journey To Myself

As promised, I took my first 'solo' fitness class today. Originally I was going to try a step class, or something more within my comfort zone for my first class. Might as well start slowly, right? Well Step didn't work into my schedule, and as my day planner started filling up for the week, it became clear that the only time I would have to add in a fitness class would be immediately after work on Thursday. I looked up the listing for the gyms that I have access to, and there was one class that fit that description: Yoga.

Now, those who know me personally know that two of my fitness... challenges...., are that I am not particularly flexible and have an utter lack of balance and/or grace. Simply put, I'm the girl who trips over her own two feet. Also, having never attempted yoga in any form, I had no idea what to expect. 

The evening started off like any other - putting on my freezing gym clothes (from sitting in my car overnight and all day), and heading up to the class. I was about fifteen minutes early... or so I thought. There was one other person in the room, laying on a yoga mat on the floor. I didn't see anything relevant to yoga around the room, so I grabbed a fitness mat from the front of the room, and started stretching. My muscles were quite sore from the night before, so the stretching did do me good. After about ten minutes of stretching though, there was no one else in the room yet, and the other girl decided that she didn't want to attend yoga any more and left. It was then that I realized that the class actually started at 5:45 and not 5:30, so I had actually arrived to the classroom a full half hour early. Yikes.

Other people started to arrive though, and pull out their yoga mats. I figured that it must mean that this was a self-equipped class. Fine with me.

As the class began to fill up, two things became apparent. One, I needed to take off my shoes, at a minimum. Everyone was barefoot. Two, as people sat down and went into what appeared to be trances, I was way out of my element.

The instructor arrived and proceeded to turn on small lamps around the room, and then turn off the lights. Oddly, it was after the lights were turned out that she noticed that there were three new people in the class; me and two other beginners. She told us that the mats we had chosen wouldn't work, and that we would have to get yoga equipment from the closet in the hall. Oops. We had disturbed the ...'yen'?

Once I had myself settled again and figured out how to position all the equipment, the class went quite well. I will admit, it was very peaceful and it was nice to take an hour to stretch our all of my muscles. That said - I am not sure I would classify it as a fitness class personally... in my mind it was more of a practice in calming the mind. 

Would I do it again?

Maybe. I can see it's purpose and how it works for other people, however it isn't something I could commit to doing regularly, at least at this point. 

All in all though, I'd say experiment 'week 1' was a success. 

What will it be next week? Who knows. I am not sure yet which day I will be experimenting next week - I may have to fit in two workouts in one day. Whatever it is though, I'm sure it will be great!