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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Someone Please Yoga The Zen Into Me

I started working out over three years ago and introduced myself to Yoga shortly after.
My very first yoga class was at Yoga Works in SOHO.
It was a beginner class with no mirrors, yoga blankets,blocks and soft calming music.
The teacher walked around giving little muscle massages with each correction and did this awesome meditation song at the end of class. I was hooked.

When I told my Mom in Maine I had started doing Yoga, she thought it was great.
She called Yoga "yogurt" and kept asking me how my yogurt practice was going. She wondered if maybe I could teach her some yogurt on my next trip home.

After my first few months of classes at Yoga Works expired I decided to check out the different flavors of "yogurt" that NYC had to offer.
Since I was on a tight budget my next stop was Yoga To The People on St Marks.
Here classes are by donation so students can give what they can afford per class.
Yoga To The People was crazy crowded. So much so that the you are practically one inch away from the many rows of people around you.
It was also crazy hot-practically bikram but unintentionally, and not very beginner friendly in that teachers provided no corrections.
I had a really hard time relaxing during this class since I had strangers nasty feet and asses in my face every time the teacher called for a standing split or twist.
The one thing I did love about Yoga To The People was the Tibetan singing bowl that echoed through Shavasana at the end of every class.

I quickly realized that I would not see many physical results through yoga without a cardio combo to lose weight and joined a gym.
Since then I have been taking yoga twice a week and have seen major changes in my body, strength and form. My favorite combo of exercise since has become spin class followed by yoga.

One major problem remains after three years of practice....I CANNOT RELAX DURING YOGA!
Isn't that the point? Breathing, calm, zen, focus,worries be gone? Apparently not for me.
I can't even stand to take a yoga class where the teacher doesn't play loud music because I hate silence.
I can never clear my head of thoughts and am constantly distracted by everything in class.

You guys who take yoga know exactly what I mean. There is always some guy two mats over breathing like he is in a porno, and some super ripped chick doing handstand pushups so well that you want to slap her. I also get distracted by things like chips in my pedicure or my hips feeling chubby when i'm in triangle pose. I run through errands I need to do it in my head and wish the teacher would blast some heavy metal.
During handstand practice time, I always have to explain to the teacher that I have no desire to try and flip myself upside down thanks. Plus anyone who knows how accident prone I am knows if I tried that I would surely die of a broken neck, or at the very least make myself cripple for life.

I often wonder what the point of continuing to take a class I really don't enjoy is.
Maybe I will just never feel the zen or relaxation that other people do without being heavily medicated or high.
At the end of the day I like how yoga makes my body look so I don't give it up.

I'll have to continue my search for zen and relaxation in the bottom of glasses of merlot or in Colorado, but not on a yoga mat.