8 Things My First Yoga Class Taught Me

My friends, the deed has been done. Last Thursday night I dragged my ass to my first ever yoga class.

Yoga has been fairly popular for quite a while, but I’ve never felt the need to partake. Partially because I’ve never had anyone to go with (I always like to start new things with a buddy), and because I’ve never looked at an hour of stretching as exercise. But mostly because “mindfulness” kinda makes my eyes roll.

But since I’m trying to get back in shape (especially before my “just a little late” honeymoon next month), I asked myself, “Self, have you ever seen a less than slim Yogi? NO.” So off I went, with Max and our friend M. in tow.

Things I learned at my first yoga class

Here’s what I discovered during one hour of yoga at my local YMCA:

 

JANUARY IS THE WORST TIME TO START A NEW CLASS AT THE GYM

My local Y has had more than 100 new people join in the last 10 days. The gym has been very busy, and the class was full. Apparently people really take this whole New Year, New Me thing very seriously (for now anyway).

Yes I know, thats exactly why I was at the class in the first place. Blah blah blah. Stop looking at me like I’m being a hypocrite.

You need to get to class seriously early if you want to get a good spot. For me, that was the far back of the room. Although as the class progressed it was clear that there wasn’t really a back as the Yogi was in the middle of the room.

 

SOOO MANY LADIES.

I know that yoga is becoming more co-ed in a lot of places, and I kind of suspected that Corner Brook would be a little behind on the times, but I was still surprised that there were only two men (one of which was wearing jeans, so he likely wasn’t too serious about being there) in our class of 30.

 

SOME OF THESE LADIES ARE NOT “YOUNG”

I’m not trying to be disrespectful here, or to make anyone feel old. Heck, my ass is turning 30 next month (Max is rolling her eyes here shes 31 this month), so there are some people who wouldn’t consider me young. But what I’m getting at is that a high percentage of the people in my class were old enough to be my mom (who was 28 when she had me FYI), or older. So essentially, most of the attendees were not spring chickens.

 

YOUR AGE DOES NOT DETERMINE YOUR FLEXIBILITY

To be honest, I’ve never been overly flexible, and I knew that I was far from “in shape” (6 months away from the gym does you no favours folks), but I was a little disgusted by just how inflexible I am.

And you guys, those “not spring chickens”, well they were kicking my butt. Seriously.

In fact, my instructor, Maureen, is a very regal, incredibly limber woman who must have been at least 65. (I could have misjudged her age, but girl had some gorgeous silver hair, that wasn’t from a box). She could have tied her self in to a pretzel had the mood struck her.

 

ITS NOT APPROPRIATE TO GIGGLE IN CLASS

You guys, my mind, it it not mature enough for some of things said in a yoga class.

“We’re going to get comfortable on our backs now.”

” Close your knees.”

Little snickers escaped my lips. No one else seemed to be as amused as I was.

 

THERE IS MOST DEFINITELY A FOCUS ON MINDFULNESS

This is the part of the class I enjoyed the least. I don’t mind the soothing music, or the deep breathing but the “relax your toes one by one. Relax your knees. Relax your pelvis. Relax your internal organs. Enjoy the feeling of your internal organs relaxing” kills me. Its a good thing our eyes were supposed to be closed during this part, or people would have seen the whites of mine.

 

YOU WILL WORK YOUR BOOTY OFF

Truth. When class was finished, I felt a little dissatisfied. Not with the class itself , but just that I had spent an hour at the gym and I didn’t really feel like I had a “workout”. I wasn’t sweaty, I wasn’t breathing hard, and I felt like zero calories had been burned.

That being said, we did some poses that were seriously difficult to hold. My body shook. And while I’m not yet convinced that I’ll burn any fat in class, I can certainly see how yoga can tone your body.

I can especially feel the effects today. Things are a little sore.

 

NOT ALL YOGIS ARE SNOBS

Even though I was looking forward to my class, I still had quite a bit of anxiety because I didn’t really know what to expect. What do I wear? Do I have to bring my own mat? Do I get to pick my own spot? Will everyone be better than me? What if I can’t do the poses? Will I fall on my face? If you’re nervous, I highly encourage you to try it out. The people in my class were very friendly, and some even made sure that we knew the best places to set up our mats. Our instructor took the time to acknowledge all the new faces at the beginning of class, and even made a point of coming over to chat with Max, M and I after class. It was a much more inviting environment that I anticipated.

 

Have you ever tried yoga? If you haven’t, would you?

Cheers, Kathryn

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