23 January 2013

namaste, shug pies!

so, i got up the nerve to try yoga tonight.
let it be known that i HATE trying new workouts.
wait, i HATE working out.
i HATE the feeling of dread.
that i need to "drag" myself to the gym.
i hate the data collection - pounds lost/gained, calories burned, minutes i was on the treadmill, etc.
i already have to keep craploads of data because of my diabetes. that's enough.

but - 
i have to do something.
my flexibility, posture, muscle strength/tone, endurance ... they all SUCK.
i used to go for long, brisk walks on a regular basis.
then one day, i woke up, and realized that sitting in an office chair was ruining my spine and hip flexors. not to mention that my job was stressin' me the eff out! and where was i finding any joy?
hmmm... good question.

life is too short for that shit, y'all!

i found acupuncture and i have viewed my body and my health very differently than i ever did before.
eastern medicine and outlook on life is so different than the way western culture views it.

i thought yoga might be something i can get behind because it's about restoring your body and your mind. it's not a punishment for eating too much cake. it's utilizing your own body in your workout and journey to become a healthier you. i was listening as the instructor said things that i have heard before in acupuncture. 
"we are caught up in this guilt, this idea that we have to be busy and productive all the time. we don't know how to unwind {in a healthy way}. we just go, go, go. there should be no guilt found in doing nothing. in rest. in getting 9 hours of sleep if that's how much your body needs.
and, y'all know i love me some acupuncture!
{you can read posts about my AWESOME experiences in acupuncture here}
so, i got me a little yoga mat from target, showed up, walked in, expecting some tree huggin' and some size 0 chicks burnin' incense and shit.
it was cool.
the instructor was very calming, and friendly, and there were women of various ages and sizes.
i paid my money, and went into the studio {this was a small studio with only one room}, took off my shoes, socks and hoodie, and rolled out my mat.

the hardest thing i did all night?
getting started.
it hurts like a moFO for me to sit like this:

yoga8_zps009e9d4b photo yoga8_zps009e9d4b-1_zpsd631bd65.jpg 

the instructor was trying to teach us how to maintain our breathing, and we were supposed to be focusing on our intent - why were we there, and what did we hope to accomplish?
all i was thinkin about was holy shit balls, my  hips hurt.
i asked, "umm, if we are in so much pain that we can't find our intent, should we switch to something more comfortable?" {i just wanted to make sure i wasn't defeating the purpose, Nahmean? Like in acupuncture, if the pressure or discomfort is so great that you can't relax, she takes the needle out because it's counterproductive.}
unfortunately, this is not how they roll in yoga - I just had to put a yoga block under my ass like a 90 year old so that I could get past the pain.

after that, i was fine.
of course, i couldn't do all of the poses fully.
but, i could do a lot more than i thought!

we did lots of things - with the focus being on the breathing, letting go of stress, and maintaining balance. it's almost like you are so focused on the breathing, that you don't worry that your arms are shaking from exertion.

here are a couple of the things we did: 

 photo yogacollage_zps904381ba.jpg

and this:

 photo yoga5_zps9c53c09e.jpg
and these:

 photo yoga9_zps5bda2e79.jpg

about 20 minutes in, i started to break a sweat. 
but i was enjoying it.
it was gettin' my muscle tone on, and it was just satisfying that i could do the poses without tipping over sideways.
i was feeling quite accomplished.

then, shit got a little more intense.
we did this sequence, and i ain't gone lie, y'all.
my heart rate was UP. and i was sweatin' like it was my job.

 photo yoga1_zps28501637.jpg

the instructor told me i was doing an awesome job.
i'm not sure how i looked, but i felt like this:

 photo yoga2_zps2a84bccd.jpg

the best part was at the end, when we did our relaxation/cool down.
{i'm sure there's a more official name for this, but i don't know what it is.}
our instructor gave us each these awesome cold wet cloths that had been soaking in something that smelled heavenly to put over our eyes while we were relaxing.
{the instructor did come by during this part and push my feet closer to my crotch and told me that this would help open up my hips - the reason i can't sit indian style/criss cross applesauce, whatever you wanna call it}
 photo yoga3_zpseaa184bf.jpg
 the whole workout, you continue to breath in the same pattern, and that was the part that took some getting used to. but it really keeps you focused, and you really feel like you are accomplishing something.
i loved that it felt like my whole body was getting a workout, and not just specific muscle groups.

the verdict:

i think i will actually stick to this because it's like a workout that's a reward instead of self-inflicted punishment.
{it's exactly how i feel about acupuncture - which totally changed my life!}
it doesn't tear your body up like a lot of impact sports and running.
it helps you sleep better.
it sort of rebuilds the foundation of "you".

i'm excited, y'all!!

i may have come home and enjoyed me a lil chocolate & diet coke.
but - the chocolate was dark, and the diet coke was caffeine free.
i'm choosing to celebrate the positive, and be proud of my baby steps. 


Mills said...

Look at you go! Sounds like you didn't die and may have enjoyed yourself a little, not too shabby. I did a yoga video once at home and was shocked at how hard it was. I hurt the next day. Maybe I'll try an actual class so I feel accountable to do it. At home there is temptation to be lazy.

Glad it went well!

Aleshea said...

Werk it. If you haven't noticed, that is my new favorite word. Glad you made it trough.

The {Mrs} Adventure of a misplaced Belle said...

See? I told you it wasn't that bad. I kind of miss it, but when I attempt to do it - it's like watching a hippopotamus trying to do acro..


Brooke said...

That last pose looks so calming!

=) Brooke

Randolph Moultrie said...

I can only imagine me trying to pull one of those poses off, lol.

Jennifer Achebe said...

aww! The little girl!!
But I use to do yoga and boy did I get super flexible! ...then I quit! I need to get back into it maybe twice a week or something! Thanks for the post!


Amanda @ The Barstows: Our Little House on the {West Texas} Prairie said...

What a great point your instructor made. I always feel guilty if I'm not busy doing something. I've been thinking about doing yoga for awhile, I may try it now, thanks for the extra push!

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

I'm afraid of yoga, I took a hot yoga class once and had a complete and total asshole in your face instructor and it really turned me off. I keep meaning to try again, and I think the yoga class at my gym might be better. You might've just given me the push I needed!

Danielle Carroll said...

Good for you! I hate working out too, but am a huge fan of hot yoga. It's just so darn expensive I don't go as often as I'd love to. Same as yoga, but the room is kept at 105 degrees with 40% humidity. It's like LAVA HOT! But I feel so relaxed and just plain healthy when the class is done. So worth it..

Amy said...

Love hot yoga, you should try! I never go, but i need to start trying to make mroe of an effort.

Heidi said...

yay for the dark chocolate afterwards! totally deserved that :)

Emily B said...

Glad you got to experience yoga! I'm a big fan of it. Your experience sounds just like mine the first few times. It's also really great for clearing your mind & de-stressing. If you want to increase the challenge at some point, def try hot yoga. It can be quite intense but soo rewarding. Hope you stick with it :-)

Emily @ Martinis & Bikinis

Suze said...

Wow sounds like you had a great first try! I am very intimidated by it, but like you, I think it would great for me. I feel like a joyless lump lately. Sounds like this could be the cure!

Lisa Odom said...

I love yoga. There are so many great benefits from doing it regularly. I have always been interested in acupuncture, I have back and neck problems and I have heard it could help. I do not really know to go about finding someone though. I am sure there are some weird situations out there.

Gina Gao said...

I should try yoga. I really need to calm down, especially during college letter season. This is a great post.


Emmett Katherine said...

Yay! You found something you liked! Yoga is great except hot yoga, I can't seem to get down with that :P

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you tried yoga! Yoga is something that really benefits everyone who tries it. The hardest part is actually getting started, but the results are so worth it. So excited you've discovered it!