I have just recently started going to yoga classes again. I need to have some form of exercise in my life, besides walking, and at my weight and general physical condition, yoga’s a good choice — it builds strength and flexibility while not putting so much stress on the joints, and is easily adaptable for different ability levels.
I found a nice studio here in town with a monthly membership, and since hub signed up with me, his company will reimburse the monthly fee as a health club expense — they will reimburse for gyms and other sports/health clubs as well.
Now, I don’t know a lot about the different types of yoga, so I can’t say if the studio is more one type than another. I’ve attended a couple of vinyasa sessions and a couple gentle yoga. They also offer hot, power, stretch, and eclectic. At this point gentle, stretch, and to some extent vinyasa are about all I can handle.
It’s all a workout for me. I sweat profusely, stretch and strain, work through stiffness and muscle cramps, adapt as best I can with all the excess me. I do not always flow smoothly from one position to another, and because of my lordosis, I have less range of motion on one side or the other depending on the pose. They keep the room a little warmer than I’d like, increasing the sweating so my palms sweat and I can’t hold downward dog as my hands slip on my mat. Getting the inhales and exhales right with the movements is difficult — I seem to be out of sync an awful lot. But I like that I can adapt as necessary, only moving as far as I comfortably can, using modified positions and aids such as blocks and straps, and if I absolutely can’t do a certain pose right now, it’s okay. I’m not being judged by what others can do, only on what is my best. Really not being judged at all… Just accepting that what I can do may not be the same as others, and it’s all okay as long as I am doing my best and striving to improve.
It helps that I feel sooooo good when I walk out of the class — all stretched and warmed up and moving easier. I know it’s silly, but it is so nice to be able to lift my foot up to put pants on without laying the pants on the floor or using my hand to pull up my leg. And that going up and down stairs seems easier. I’m really not in it for the spirituality component, but I do like that it really makes me focus on being in my body, feeling what my body is doing as I breath, as I move, and as I rest.
I’ve been going twice a week and plan to up it to three times in May — all gentle yoga. After that, I’ll see what I can add/change. I know it will be slow going, but I’m going to enjoy it.