Yoga Revisited

IMG_0699Several years ago, in an attempt to become more physically fit, I signed up for a series of yoga classes at a newly-opened yoga studio.  A friend had recommend the “hot yoga” class, on the grounds that heat makes your body more limber.  I figured I could use all the help I could get, so I started with that class.

The first thing I noticed was that it was called “hot yoga” and not “warm yoga” or “sort of hot yoga” for a reason:  at over 100 degrees, that studio was indeed hot.  But I soon got used to the temperature and did my best to attempt all the poses as the class progressed.  I thought I did pretty well for a newbie, until I got home and suddenly felt as if I had been hit by a freight train.  I’m not ashamed to say that after I showered, I crawled right back into bed and stayed there for two hours, after which I walked funny for the rest of the day.  Eventually, my body adapted to the movements and I began to enjoy the class.

The problems began when lots of other people also began to enjoy the class, and more and more people crowded into the room with each session.  Personally, I don’t sweat much anymore, but I soon discovered that lots of other people do, especially when doing an hour and a half yoga class in a hundred-degree room. And when the sweating person is just inches away from you, there is a very real possibility that you are going to put your hand down in a puddle of someone else’s sweat the next time you do a floor pose.  So that was the end of my time in the hot yoga class.

I tried another, shorter, class in a room with normal temperatures, but the teacher moved us through the poses too quickly for me, and I kept hurting my lower back as I tried to keep up.  Finally, I just quit going altogether and looked for other ways to keep fit and try to reduce the size of my chubby thighs.

Still, I missed yoga.  During the time I practiced it, I did notice that my core muscles were stronger and my balance was better than it had been in a long time, and I really missed the time at the end of the class when we just stretched out on our mats in a darkened room and relaxed.  Like most people, I spend very little time “just being” and I need that.  So I was very happy when I discovered that another friend had become a certified yoga teacher and was going to teach a beginner’s class at the local YMCA at a time that worked for my schedule.

I’ve only gone twice so far, but I already love it.  The room isn’t hot (if anything, it’s too cool, but I can live with that), and my friend takes us slowly and gently through basic yoga moves. I am a little sore, here and there, after the classes, but it’s the good kind of sore that lets me know I am using muscles in ways I don’t usually use them.  I only wish that I hadn’t waited so long to find a yoga class that fits my body (old and a bit flabby) and my physical abilities (flexible, but klutzy).  The the important thing is that I have found my way back to yoga, and this time, I’m staying.

26 thoughts on “Yoga Revisited

  1. I’m so happy you were able to find a class that fit your needs. I am a big believer in the benefits of yoga especially in our middle age. I don’t go out to classes (the introvert in me prefers to be alone) but have been using a yoga app on my ipad for several years. I really feel it when i skip days. My whole body aches more and getting up and down is so much more of a chore. I am attempting to battle my chubby thighs by riding a recumbrent bicycle a few times a week. It is more comefortable than a regular stationary bike and the best part is I can read while I exercise!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have always wanted to try yoga, but somehow I can never seem to get the courage to try a class. I am so clumsy and klutzy that I worry that I will be falling flat on my face throughout the class adding to the entertainment. Glad you found the class that fits your body… maybe soon I will find the courage to look for one that caters to the likes of me. Enjoy your yoga.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the key is to find a yoga class that feels comfortable to you, and where you won’t worry about it if you feel a little bit clumsy. Trust me, if I can do it, anyone can! I just wish I hadn’t given up so easily when the first yoga studio didn’t work out for me. And it’s a very good studio, just not a good fit for my particular needs. I hope it works out for you!


  3. Wish I could go with you. I went to a couple of sessions at the YMCA on Brentwood, but then I started doing it solo with an online class. That’s how I hurt my left hip last summer. Although I’m a lot better, it still acts up. Looking forward to discussing this with you in a couple of weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, so glad I’ll be seeing you! BTW, my friend who teaches the class I am taking now, pointed out a few simple things to beware of when doing some of the moves. It really helps in making sure we don’t injure ourselves! We will talk soon, over wine…


    • I think I was lucky, because in the classes I took, everyone just paid attention to what they were doing, rather than what other people were doing. That made it much easier to do it in front of people. Thanks for the comment!


  4. When I first heard about hot yoga from a friend of mine a year or two ago, I was relieved for the sake of her dignity to discover it just meant the room was warm. I had an image of my (well into middle-age) friend pouting and strutting about like a 20-year-old pop star.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That comment made me laugh out loud! Which is the same reaction someone would have had to the sight of me doing the kind of hot yoga you were thinking of!. Thank goodness it really does mean doing yoga in a hot room….


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