Something about the magic of a New Year, a start-over, regenerates our desire to improve ourselves, give something new ago, make that change in our lives.
For me, I made a small promise to myself to try to be active in different ways. I have my regular gym sessions, but I wanted something regenerative, less excessive. Perhaps something as simple as getting out of bed and going on a morning walk. Perhaps even a bit of Yoga? I figured stretching, breathing and meditating wouldn’t be all that difficult.
I had heard of a few places that my over-yoga-enthusiastic friends had mentioned, or had personally been to and really liked. So, I dragged a friend (because, moral support) to my first ever class at Essence of Living in Mermaid Beach, purely because they have beginners classes and if I was going to fall on my face, I wasn't going to do it in front of the yogi goddesses.
As I purchased the newcomers 10 Day Pass, I silently willed (ahem, begged) myself to like this, so I would have followed through with a New Year’s Resolution, for once in my life, let’s be honest.
Hallelujah! The first class was great! I left feeling relaxed and de-stressed, to the point where I even caught myself getting emotional in Shavasana (which apparently is normal) – a pose where you lay on your back, shut down your eyes and mind, and remain completely still. I decided to go back for round two and then again the next night, and again a few nights after that, and then the following week (all beginners classes, I might add) – you could say I was hooked!
Feeling confident with my progress, I decided to give a General Class a go (not beginners), and ladies - stretching, breathing and meditating IS difficult.
The General Class was much faster paced and dynamic in comparison to the beginners’ classes – I was not prepared for this and it was a HUGE challenge for me. Luckily, the teacher was fantastic and made it fun! She had me in poses that I never knew my body could reach, and to finish off we all attempted hand-stand. No biggie, I thought. I felt the confidence I had in myself as a kid doing cartwheels and handstands in the back yard of my childhood home quickly disappear when she said we would have to do it from the ground by doing little bunny hops to get our legs up and over our bodies. To say that I was a sweaty mess would be an understatement!
The next few days that followed I was that sore everywhere I could barely lift my arms above my head, or bend around to scratch my back! Needless to say, everyday tasks such as getting dressed or sitting on the toilet was achy, and challenging. But, that’s how you know you’ve had a successful workout!
Even though I can still feel the tension in my back as I write this post, I am a changed woman! Not only did I complete my resolution before the end of March, I have completely changed my perception of Yoga. These people are grounded and strong, and if you push yourself, Yoga can be just as, if not harder, than your regular gym workout!
Despite my initial fears, I found the practice of Yoga enjoyable yet challenging and I am pleased to say that I will be pushing myself in a 12 Week Challenge with Essence of Living.
And that is my Yoga experience, so ladies, whatever you decided would be your challenge for the New Year; I implore you – take the plunge, and just DO IT!
If you have never tried Yoga, and haven't really made a promise to yourself for this year yet, take a leaf out of my book and give it a go, it is totally worth it! Hopefully I'll see you on the mat at some stage :)