Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mindful Aches and Pains

The in-betweens of my fingers have never been sore before. They are today.

They are sore because I was doing so many Downward-Facing Dogs yesterday. I took my first yoga class -- ever -- last night!!!!! It was awesome. I've done yoga videos and some stuff from books, but I've never had either 1) the money for yoga classes; or 2) the nerve to get my inflexible, wobbly little self to a class.

My iPod was dead but I really wanted to get a workout in, (that alone is awesome, no?) so I finally worked up the courage to go the the yoga class I'd signed up for that started three weeks ago. Part of my courage came from Alice's many enthusiastic recommendations and gentle prodding to give yoga a try. Thanks, Alice!

It is a drop-in class, not a progressive class, so I was only kind of worried about starting partway through. Mostly, I was nervous it was full of yogi-masters or something who would have no patience with my fumbling around. (Which is silly, since so much of yoga is about acceptance.) There were three other young ladies there (I am sure I was at least 10 years older than the students and the instructor, but oh, well.) and the instructor was very welcoming and didn't make too big a deal out of it being my first class. Afterward, she did ask me how it went and I proclaimed, "It was fantastic!" while beaming. She came up to me later and said I had done very well for my first class, and that she was really impressed at how well I handled the sequences without her narration. (We'd do three sequences together, then do two more without her talking us through.) I was really tickled.

Most of the time I had to concentrate like hell to keep from falling over. I had to come out of a couple of poses to rest for a few seconds, but for the most part I stuck it out. There were a few moments, however, when I'd finally get a handle on balancing on one foot and I found myself sort of meditating on a spot on the floor, just breathing. It was really cool.

I was also surprised to learn that I can balance much better on my left foot than my right. This is especially surprising because my left ankle is a big ol- pile-o-crap. I broke my leg and ankle 15 years ago and have a plate, five screws and a pin in there. (I am the Bionic Woman!) I still can't fully extend that ankle (making the Hero Pose kind of difficult) but oddly, I can balance on that foot like nobody's business.

I am still surprised that the class was so strenuous. It was beginner/intermediate-beginner level. There were a couple of poses I couldn't get into, so I just modified them. I am way, way!WAY!inflexible. Holy. Cow. But - that is kind of cool as I'll be able to really watch my progress as I am able to get deeper and deeper into the poses. (Hmm, do you 'spose that last sentence will bring in unsolicited google traffic?) My entire body feels like it has been worked over. I am a tad sore pretty much all over. Last night I fell asleep with that warm, tingly feeling in my muscles that comes from a good workout. It was thrilling. It took me about 20 minutes to settle down and fall asleep; I just kept reveling in how my body felt. Also: my lower back and neck didn't give me any pain as I fell asleep. Those areas almost always cause me grief.

I had foolishly thought the days of my yoga classes would be "light" workout days. Um, NO. I am working on revising my weekly workout schedule. I'll bore you all with a post about it in a bit.

I am so, so happy. Last evening was a great experience. As my aching muscles quietly remind me of their presence, I grow more and more excited for classes next week.


  1. Hooray! I'm so happy your had such a wonderful experience. I absolutely love going to yoga classes, and you may have said enough to encourage me to find one in our new town. It is a very physical and also mental exercise, which I find way better than almost any other exercise.

  2. Good for you! That is great!

  3. Dude, you sound...GLOWY!

    Awesome. Way to go.

  4. Isn't it amazing how great you fell all over your body from yoga. Hope you keep it up and reap all the benefits.


  5. Flib took me to my first yoga class when we were back in billings. I totally sweated my ass off and everything hurt for days, but it was a good hurt. It was awesome.

  6. It is so cool that being flexible isn't a yoga requirement, at least not at first! Since you did exceptionally well and claim not to be flexible. That's where I'm deducing this from.

  7. I love yoga. I miss it so. I hope to get my life together a little bit more soon and get my on arse to one of those drop-ins too.

  8. OOH YAY! i'm so glad you liked it!

    i am SO FREAKING NOT FLEXIBLE. like, can't touch my toes. i've improved a LITTLE after weeks and weeks and weeks of yoga, but not enough that i don't still feel like a dope during the hip stretchy poses. and yet! i still love it! inexplicable.

  9. Good for you! This reminds me, I need to work yoga into my workout routine, because I always feel so good and stretchy afterwards. (Although I did get up early 4 times this week to run at the track - bah.)


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