Back to Yoga. Why, oh why, did I wait?
Friday, November 30, 2012
Second yoga class tonight after getting back to practicing. Why oh why oh why did I ever wait five months for this?
I have been an on-again, off-again yoga student. Without fail, every time that I incorporate yoga regularly as part of my fitness, I experience the following:
* Peacefulness - my mind and heart feel more at peace with the world
* Centered focus - my mind stills, and I am more able to focus on whatever task or event is at hand
* Relaxed muscles - without yoga, my back & shoulder muscles are pretty much always tight. With regular yoga, they let up significantly!
* Joyful attitude - with yoga, my attitude and outlook improve significantly
Why do I jump off my beautiful yoga wagon? This is important for me to understand, so that I can stay on my yoga wagon and experience the joyous attitude of peacefulness, centered focus and relaxed muscles.
Travel back in time with me. That weekly mailer came, the one with the small envelope-sized coupons. In the mailer was a coupon for $99/month all-you-can-eat yoga classes at a local studio. I jumped on the opportunity and joined up. It also included one 50-minute massage per month so it was truly a good deal. However, the studio had a very high turnover rate in both massage therapists and yoga teachers. It seemed every time I would fall in love with a teacher's or therapist's style, they'd end up leaving. And with every new teacher/therapist, it was starting over.
Logical to leave that studio - definitely logical. NOT logical to wait six months to go to the next studio!
The next studio had a more robust schedule of yoga classes. The teachers had long-term associations with the studio and the owners are very sweet-hearted. I stayed there for 6-7 months. And why did I leave? It was too hot! It was NOT a "hot yoga" studio. Not at all; yet somehow, they were under the impression that yoga should be practiced with a room temp of 84-86 degrees. In the hot Phoenix summer, that was tolerable, as it was a solid 25 degrees cooler than the outside temps and every time the air would kick on, the vents would blow cool air. As long as I got there early enough to get under an air vent, it was fine.
In winter, as soon as the room temp dropped under 84 degrees, the HEAT would kick on! It was miserable! Because I so loved the owners and teachers, I took the time to politely explain why I was leaving them and to tell them that if they *ever* decided not to keep the rooms in the 84-86 range, I would come back.
Then, I found a free weekly yoga class in the grass lawn at a local mall. Wonderful! Different teacher every week, variety to the classes, lovely grass-lawn yoga. In the spring. Then summer hit. Summer in Phoenix. 115 degrees, yoga outside. No-go. I dropped out.
Finally, a Groupon arrived in my email box. $49 for ten yoga classes. I bought the Groupon in September. It has a December expiration date. Groupon kept nagging me, "Use your GROUPONS!" Finally, I logged in and clicked on the link. Went to yoga at this new studio on Monday. Oh my gosh! The class was absolutely divine!
Slow Flow yoga, room perfect temp, teacher absolutely charming and delightful. Nice yin stretches, opening the hips, combined with sun salutations to work the body. Best. Yoga. Class. Ever!
I went again tonight. Different teacher, different class. Foam roller work, Qigong, nice slow yin moves. Nice class. Not as good as Monday, yet fully worth attending.
There are now eight classes left in my "deal." My plan is two per week. I will try some of the other instructors. The studio has a robust schedule - especially considering it is a rather small studio - with over 45 classes per week. Some I cannot make as they're during work hours. I'll try most of the evening classes over the course of the next eight.
I promise myself: when this Groupon 10-class-pack is up, I *will* either enroll for more classes at this studio OR immediately pick up classes at another studio. Yoga is totally worth the time and (reasonable) cost for me. There will not be another six-month lapse with no yoga.