Sunday, 31 January 2010

Trial and Error

Posted by Violet Cream at precisely 2:55 pm
Thank you everyone who has taken the trouble to read my blog and/or leave comments for me. I get a real sense of community, which I love, and who could fail to be delighted by such an encouraging bunch as you lot? Starrstar left me a question, which I thought i'd attempt to answer today. She says she tries yoga and gets discouraged. She asked "what makes yoga work for you?" and "How do you get into it?"

I have this half baked idea that the reason i've always been able to touch my toes with ease is that I was shaped like a banana in the womb, rather than the curled up knees of your average baby, and born breech. Let me try again as that I don't think that idea will stick. 

I first tried yoga about 10 years ago when I was attending a really small and intimate gym. I had a really wonderful yoga teacher. She was patient, encouraging and made modifications of all the moves. When I couldn't do the child's pose ( and still can't because my bloody belly gets in the way) she taught me to rest my forhead on my hands infront of me on the mat. I found the moves at times difficult and they almost hurt my body but the best bit was the end of the work out when we got a wonderful relaxation period and meditation. It was the deep relaxation that kept me going to that class. Sadly I moved counties and forgot about exercise for many years. It was a pleasure to go back to yoga last year. However, I was only attending two classes a week and then I cancelled both becauseit clashed with my romantic timetable.

 I loved yoga from the outset but I think it was something that really suited me and my body. I really hate team games with a passion and yoga is so different from that. You are only accountable for your own body. You move it carefully and listen to how far your body can move. Each week you find yourself getting a little more strong or flexible. I really love using a wall and doing an inverted shoulder stand against it. My weight currently restricts my balance doing it without the wall but it is such an amazing feeling to relax into a position whilst your belly nearly hangs over your face. 
The benefits of yoga are legendary. With a good teacher- and i currently have three- they will select a different focus for each class. It could be hips it could be the digestive system or what ever they feel is good for their class. A good teacher will be able to look out for you individually and can coach you through a move or correct poor practice.  I have about 4 yoga dvd's at home too, which I use from time to time. I have not got to a stage where I am devising my own yoga work out as I feel that would be too hard. Some dvd's aren't really suitable for yoga beginners, partly because they move through the moves too quickly or rush the explanations. Some even miss out the vital relaxation part at the end. I think Starr if you want to give yoga a fair chance I would attend a proper accredited yoga class and when there not to judge your performance by how flexible other people in your class are. You have to let go in yoga and just feel how your body is that very instant. Once you've given it a fair chance you may still find it isn't for you. However, the good news is there is a world of different exercises out there for you to try. Don't give up just analyse what you really enjoy. For me the chance to become banana like again is way too attractive!

3 delightful comment/s:

jinxxxygirl on 1/2/10 9:14 pm said...

I've taken about 4 or 5 yoga classes. I liked it. Unfortunately i butted heads with the instructor(not literally ofcourse) and i was too embarressed to go back. My fault really not hers..... I'am a very quiet , shy easily embarressed person so to take a yoga class at all was a BIG deal to me. A fear i had to overcome. Well at my last class i guess i was holding my hands the wrong way and she was trying to correct me from across the room. Well........I was relaxed, listening to the music , concentrating on what i was doing and i didn't hear her for several minutes! She obviously kept getting louder till when i looked up everyone in the room was staring at me. I wish i could have melted into the floor at that moment. Well i never went back. And ofcourse i'm only hurting myself, maybe one day i will try again with a different instructor.

The Shrinking Violet on 2/2/10 10:00 am said...

EEk. The dark side of yoga. Why she couldn't have spoken quietly next to you is anyone's guess! I hope it doesn't put you off for good.

StarrStarr on 2/2/10 1:48 pm said...

So I tried yoga again and this time instead of trying to focus on what my body is unable to do I focused on my strengths and like you have stressed tried relaxing. It worked! Not that I am able to bend my body in any sort of spectacular position but I made every effort to stop worrying about being an expert. I think when I am unable to do things like yoga it reminds me of how I've been completely ignoring my body (I have never been the most flexible person but I did take ballet for 13 years so I never felt like I was in the beginning stages of rigor mortis). But with your encouragment I am able to remind myself that like with any type of physical activity it gets better every time you do it!



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