I've been tempted to go and to try yoga for several years. I would meet people occasionally bragging about their yoga experience but not being able to formulate what exactly it meant or did for them. Some would say that they found "the previously unknown muscles" in their bodies that hurt after practice. Others felt nice relaxation. But no one gave me any specifics WHY it was worth going. So one day I decided to try it out for myself, thanks to my friend-Tatyana who brought me to one of local classes. I wanted to understand what was so special about the practice and why there were so many yoga studios popping up in every town. And so I went.
I did a new client special for a month where I could try any kind of yoga and any instructor offering the class. (@ YogaLoft in Mercato, Naples http://yogaloftnaples.com/ ). Here is the result. While Yoga includes partial mediation and relaxation practice that might look like a Lamaze class to some active adults, it's actually good for body and soul. It lets you be in the present and quiet your racing mind. Yes, even relaxation can be a challenge. It takes me a considerable effort to let my body and mind go into the la la land during the session.
It stretches my body in a different, new way. I'm a runner who also lifts weights 3-4 times a week but yoga does something different to my body. While some poses might look easy to do, they are not easy to hold correctly for a required length of time. All poses require "how-to" knowledge of shifting or redistributing your weight, so that you can hold yourself working and stretching your muscles. Some seniors manage to stand on their arms and the head. (Yes, this blows my mind too! This is definitely something to work on for me) Yoga teaches me balance mentally and physically, giving lots of positive energy.
Deep breathing is vital to yoga practice. I've realized that I don't breathe deeply but tend to hold it, making my breathing very timid. Deep, exaggerated breathing is very important to mastering the technique.
Lastly, an experienced instructor makes all the difference in understanding yoga to practice it correctly. I was very lucky to meet Meredith Musick. She is serious about teaching and correcting positions. My fellow-yogi might not agree with me and I’m very tempted to know what they have to say to enrich my experience.