I am returning to yoga after a two-year break. The break wasn’t intentional, it just happened with a shoulder injury which ended up needing surgery, and then choosing to do other things. I was never a serious yogi by any means, but a good once-a-week class attender, definitely. I loved it. I loved the way it helped my balance, how it improved my breathing during my runs, the way it enabled me to calm my brain.
One of Big Man’s soccer teammate’s moms (got that?) is a yoga instructor. I’ve known her a few years now and always loved her energy and personality. She runs private and semi-private classes. She worked with me once a few months after my shoulder surgery, and then I let it fall by the wayside. In the midst of talking about getting Little Man into yoga and her helping me find someone who has done yoga for ASD kids, we started talking about my practice. And she convinced me to take it up again. So a few weeks ago, I joined one of her semi-private classes. Aaaaaahhhhhh. There are just two of us in the class, so there’s lots of attention, fixing, corrections to position and form, and the class is so personally structured towards my needs and the needs of my classmate.
My first class back was something of a nightmare. My body no longer wanted to stretch that way. My breath was completely out of whack. My balance was more of a severe lack of balance. Poses that used to come easily were a struggle, and I noticed myself holding my breath, working so hard to get where I wanted to be rather than just going with what my body was telling me it was able to do that day. I’d forgotten the idea of honoring what my body was telling me, and being okay with where I was in that moment. Honestly, we don’t have to achieve full backbends, flat pigeons, or anything else to be “successful.” Some days, just getting a good, solid tree pose is awesome. But that first day, it was a battle. And forget about savasana. My brain went on a rampage. I could literally feel my eyeballs twitching, and believed my instructor could see my mind spinning out. I could not relax. I could not focus.
Three classes in, I’m doing better. I’m remembering to be okay with where I am today. That headstand….maybe not so much. I got me knees up on my elbows, and that was it, but I felt good about it. I will get there, or maybe I won’t. I did rock that triangle pose though. I’m already feeling longer, stronger, more balanced. My shoulders aren’t up in my ears all the time. My brain still wanted to fight during savasana, but I’m working on it.
Yoga isn’t for everyone. I get it scares some people. I doubt I’ll ever be a serious yogi. But as far as incorporating it into my exercise routine, it’s awesome. I’ve missed it. I’m happy to be back.