My Maha Mudra to Yoga
Downward Facing Dog, Cow Face, Cat-Cow Stretch. No, I’m not just making this up. I’m naming Yoga positions.
How could positions in aerobics get such weird names? It’s simple, the wild positions you twist your body into look exactly like the animal they are named after.
I don’t like to exercise, I’ll admit it. The only outdoor activity I like is horseback riding, which is probably thanks to a childhood filled with ‘My Little Pony’ memorabilia. But honestly I hate to run, I don’t care to swim and just forget about gym class. My parents, on the other hand, are super athletic. My mom and dad own more pairs of running shoes than I care to count. They encourage me to be active and maintain my health which is great so when my mom told me to try Yoga with her, I wasn’t sure what to think.
At first I thought, “Yes! I’m doing Yoga. After all, it’s not running or too much actual moving...just nice, easy stretches.”
Piece of cake, right?”
We started with a position called Warriors Pose. To be honest, I didn’t feel very warrior-esque, but this position became my favorite, as it was simply standing still while posing as a warrior. I couldn’t believe how easy Yoga was. I couldn’t understand how people could actually get a work out from it.
My love for the simplicity of yoga quickly began to fizzle when a sea of legs around me began twisting behind heads and turning into strange human pretzels. At that moment I realized that yoga requires a little more determination and commitment than I was willing to give to my, oh so flexible and fit instructor, who I now refer to as “pretty Gumby.”
A month after my first encounter with Yoga, my friends asked me if I wanted to go to a teen yoga session. I wanted to go, but the memories of those extreme, weird positions haunted me. I still couldn’t understand the benefit of near muscle tears in each stretch. Initially, I passed on the invite, but then I thought Yoga deserved a second chance.
This time, because I was with my friends, I couldn’t take it all very seriously--people doing poses with silly names like Cow, and meditating on who knows what. Instead of thinking about how much pain I was in, I was holding in my laughter about how funny the situation was. I mean, think about it: a room full of people in complete silence, solitarily bending their bodies into unnatural positions named after animals! Despite my need to burst into laughter, I began to focus on the pose I was holding and started to get a strange sensation, feeling the internal struggle within myself to maintain the pose.
This gave me a sort of rush and I decided to continue Yoga. As time went on, I became healthier, more flexible, and began to appreciate the seriousness of it all. I even found a “heat yoga” class which is a type of Yoga performed in hot temperatures so you sweat more, and release toxins while burning calories. I soon learned that you don’t even need to actually attend classes; you can simply buy a Yoga DVD and practice at home.
So as much as I may have trashed Yoga, it has some pretty awesome, unique qualities. The best thing about yoga is that women of all shapes and sizes participate and learn to love the benefits and, let’s face it, the craziness of Yoga.
To my surprise, the very thing that I could never see myself doing ended up being what I enjoy most. So, like me, if you hate something the first time around, give it another try. Chances are it will grow on you, or you may grow on it.More Information About Yoga
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