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Category: The Yoga Diaries

Flexibility

 

“You are more flexible than you realize”.

It was during my one month trial period at Powerflow Yoga. I was really starting to like yoga and had begun going to class 2-3 times a week. At first, I tried to stick to the instructor that I had taken my original class with. I was comfortable with her and she knew that I was a beginner. She helped me when I needed it. The problem was that her classes did not always match up with my schedule so I had to really expand my horizons and try other teachers.

As much as I was enjoying yoga, I was still pretty much out of my comfort zone. Walking into a new class was a little intimidating when I was still very insecure about how I was moving. I also could never remember which pose was which. What was the difference between Warrior One and High Lunge? Or Warrior Three and Standing Split? I found it quite confusing!

One problem that I was sure I would have was flexibility. I was never flexible. I remember taking ballet classes when I was seven years old. It was obvious that I was a horrible ballerina. My little body did not move the way the teachers wanted it to. I also tried gymnastics which was even more of a disaster. I could not even manage to do a cartwheel. I decided at a very young age that I was inflexible.

On this particular day, I was in class with an instructor I had tried only once before. I found his class difficult but there was also something about it that I really liked. I was giving it another try. During this particular class, I felt as if  he was contorting us into all kinds of crazy positions. Then we finally came to one I knew – one that I thought I had mastered. This position was either Warrior One or Warrior Two – I am telling you I could not keep them all straight at that point! The teacher came over to me and moved my back foot a bit.

That was when he said to me, “You are more flexible that you think you are”.

Me? Flexible?? Oh no I am not. This guy should have seen me in that ballet recital back in 1970 something! Not a pretty sight.

But….after he moved my foot, I was able to move deeper into the pose. Could he be on to something?

I kept those words in my head and for the next few classes I took. I tried to challenge myself to move in ways in which I would have thought impossible for me. I fell – often – but after a while I didn’t care anymore. If I fell, I fell. Soon, I was able to see that I was more flexible than I thought. The more I tried, the better I was able to move. I was proud of myself.

What has been more challenging for me is balance. I am still working on that one.

 

*** If anyone is interested in trying Powerflow Yoga in Livingston, they are now offering a free week for new clients who would like to try it out. Just mention my name or The Widow Wears Pink!

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How Yoga Found Me

“Hot yoga has really helped me through this.  I will take a class with you if you want to give it a try.”

Although there was laughter in my head, I did not let it out. I didn’t want to insult the woman I was on the phone with. I had never even met her.

I had started my blog, “The Widow Wears Pink”, only two months earlier. I loved that I was starting to reach women from all over who were also widowed. The woman I was speaking with happened to live in my town, yet we had never met before. We were chatting about our situations and how we have gotten through the hard times. That was when she mentioned hot yoga.

Yoga? HOT yoga? I didn’t think so. When I thought of yoga, I imagined the graceful people you see in pictures or on TV who hold themselves in beautiful poses without breaking a sweat. That was NOT me. I am not the least bit graceful. I walk into furniture in my own house and have fallen down while walking in high heels. I would completely embarrass myself in a yoga class.

I said all of this to my new friend on the phone but she kept encouraging me. She explained how she had the same fears but she gave it a chance and fell in love with it.

She somehow convinced me. One Friday morning I met her at the 9:30 AM class at Powerflow Yoga. She brought me an extra mat and showed me where to get blocks (blocks? what did I need blocks for??).  She then introduced me to the instructor and explained to her that it was my very first class.

I was nervous but there was no turning back. We walked into the full room and set up our mats in the corner which seemed like a good idea, but we were also in the front row which seemed like a bad idea. People were going to stare at me!

I need to reiterate how I truly knew NOTHING about yoga. The class began and everyone in that room seemed to know exactly what they were doing. I was clueless and it felt terrible. This was way out of my comfort zone.  Just when I was considering an escape through the back door, the instructor came over to me and explained how to do the poses. She was so patient and understanding that it was my first class ever. She truly made me feel comfortable. What amazed me was that while she was giving me individual attention, she was also still teaching an incredible class for everyone else.

I was doing yoga (well sort of). I was also sweating (a lot). Hot Yoga is hot! When the class was over I was soaking wet and exhausted. The instructor came over to me and told me to drink a lot of water. She also said I did pretty well for my first class (still not sure I believe that).

The thought in my head was – although I was sweaty and exhausted, I didn’t hate it. Coming from me, that is a rave review. I have never been big on working out at the gym because that is something I do hate.

I was proud of myself for making it through, and I saw a tiny glimmer of hope that this was something I might grow to like. Before I left that day, I signed up for a trial month at Powerflow Yoga. That is how my yoga journey began…

 

*** If anyone is interested in trying Powerflow Yoga in Livingston, they are now offering a free week for new clients who would like to try it out. Just mention my name or The Widow Wears Pink! I believe in paying it forward – if you would like to have a friend for your first class, please lmk and I will join you – just like my new friend did for me 🙂 

 

 

My Yoga

My yoga journey is one I never thought I would take. As I have learned, life sometimes takes an unexpected turn. While I have had some really bad turns, this is a good one. Nobody is more surprised than I am.

I have decided to share this experience because of the positivity it has brought to my life. Maybe it can do the same for someone else.

My writing about yoga may not be what some experienced yogis would expect from a yoga blog. I am not an expert, and will never claim to be one. The terms I use may not be correct, and I am not super spiritual. Sometimes I’m even silly. This is my story of what brought me to my mat and how I feel both when I am in class and when I am not.

I plan to be brutally honest about what challenges me, and believe me there are plenty of challenges. I am still a beginner.

I am jumping into this the way I jumped into yoga, and jumped into starting The Widow Wears Pink. With both feet, my eyes closed, and not over thinking.

I hope you enjoy reading – my first story will be up sometime this week…