Wednesday, April 15, 2015

My Yoga Practice

Happy to say that, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I began practicing yoga--seriously this time--since right before my 55th birthday last month. Even happier to report that, here we are a month later, and I'm sticking with it.

I should probably preface this by saying that I'm one of those people who "flirted" with yoga in the beginning. My first foray with it was when we lived in Jersey, back when the hubby and I had memberships to Bally Total Fitness. Time-wise, the class wasn't convenient for me, but I did get to attend a couple of classes--and loved it.

Sadly, it didn't last. My kids were younger, and I was writing for magazines and a few book publishers, so my schedule was pretty filled. Yoga, which isn't always as high impact as, well, beating up on a treadmill (though some forms are), ended up something I would someday like to take up, when I had time.

Fast-forward to last year, the last few months. A friend of mine at work, great lady named Wanda, began holding Yogafit classes for employees. I went to one class, during which something clicked as it had before.

Don't know if it makes sense, but my body, itself, likes yoga. It was almost as if I understood that this was for me.

And Wanda said something during that class that resonated with me: "Make whatever adjustments you have to make. Listen to your body. It's YOUR practice."

I realized that I had made a lot of excuses as to why I would "do" yoga someday. Everything from "I don't have time" to "I'm not that flexible" and my old standby, "But I burn more calories going to the gym!"

That last one really felt short, especially in light of the past couple of years. Let's face it: At one point you pass this threshold where you no longer believe exercise (or any physical activity) is only in your life for the purpose of losing or maintaining weight. Eventually you realize that physical activity has too many other benefits to relegate it to the "only when I'm trying to lose weight" corner.

And yoga is so much more than just a physical activity.

So now I try to make it to Wanda's Wednesday night class when I can, plus I practice along with videos. I'm pleased to be able to say that I've been waking up early each morning, giving myself enough time for my practice (anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes on weekdays before work). After several weeks, I'm also familiar with enough poses that I'll put on meditative soft music and work on both the poses and my breathing.

No more excuses. And guess what? I can still make time for the treadmill or a 5K walk around the lake or a mountain hike without giving up my yoga time. My only rest day is Sunday--and even then, it feels like something is missing because I haven't rolled out my mat!

There's always time for taking care of yourself. Yoga is something I do just for me.

For me...and the body I bring to my mat each day.

It's never too late to pursue something that has always called to your heart, as yoga has done to mine.