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Rediscovering Yoga

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Yoga used to be my “go to” exercise when I was at my heaviest. I hit 260 at one point in my life about 15 years ago and lacking any better place to start, I picked up yoga. I’m not an athlete per se but I liked that yoga fit in nicely with the fact that I’m strong and I’ve always been pretty flexible. More important, I could do it a few minutes here and there, at home in between the babies napping.

Yoga was a “practice” and not a sport. It was something that I could work on forever. That’s always nice plus.

And with yoga, I could see and feel the results. I could touch the floor with my fingertips one day. Then the next day, or maybe the next day, I could touch the floor with my knuckle. Then in short order, if I was consistent I could touch the floor with the the flat of my palm.

This progression happened much more quickly than things happen on the scale, so it made me feel like I was moving along in at least some aspect of my quest to get healthy.

Yoga also had a very spiritual component for me, in so far as I loved yoga most when I was doing it outdoors. I don’t even have the words to describe the difference in doing a “Sun Salutation” indoors vs. doing one outdoors facing the rising or setting sun. Just try it. Don’t worry what your neighbors think. I didn't.

It really feels as good as this looks, even if your view is not as nice!

But this is in the past tense because I have not taken my mat outdoors since I was last in South Carolina, just before I moved in June 2011. In fact, I threw out my mat about then, because doing yoga outdoors usually meant the mat got left out occasionally and weather is hard on yoga mats!

When I moved to OH, I knew I wanted a new mat and I knew I wanted a round yoga mat.

Yes round.

It never made any sense to me that yoga mats are rectangular and I researched and found one. It cost about $70, and it was my birthday present to myself.

Be aware that it is a bother to store since it has a six foot diameter when you roll it up! But I love it!

I just had not used it much since I bought it last fall. I had not used it outdoors at all.

But for the Red Hot Heartbreakers DONE Girl Challenge, XPHOENIX asked us to add some yoga into our routine and behold, I made the time to do it this past weekend and a few times since.

Here are my doggies, Odette and Reo. Working outdoors has it’s distractions, but downward dog IS one of my favorite poses.

Here I am about to begin.

There were a couple of things I realized immediately. My flexibility has suffered greatly with all the cardio, ST and conditioning classes. I knew that would be the case, so I persevered and kept gently working out the kinks.

My triangle pose, another of my favorites took me a good 20 minutes of pushing and prodding with lots of different stretches to finally get all my leg, back and arm muscles to agree to do it.

I guess the moral of the story is (or should be) to keep Sparking. Find the teams and the challenges and the Spark People that motivate YOU to do something new, or add back something that you loved, but let go.

You will be better off for it.

I am.
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