Saturday, April 20, 2013

Yoga

One of the things I promised myself I would do on this journey is exercise. For over 25 years, I exercised a lot. For 15 years of that, I worked out 6 days a week, between 2 and 3 hours per day, learning and teaching taekwondo, juijitsu and other martial arts. It was my job, and an all-consuming one. Owning a business took some of the joy out of it for me though. When you're worried about keeping students, safety, inventory, rent, and all the other things that go with owning a business, sometimes it's hard to just enjoy the art, the workout, the people.

So, when we closed our dojo, for 12 years, I just stopped working out. Of course, back surgery did cut into my desire to exercise much. But I just walked away from it. And my body is showing the results of that decision. At age 60, getting back in shape is a lot harder than it was at 30. A LOT harder. I decided that gentle exercise was the way to go. Walking and yoga were on a very short list. I had done yoga on and off over many years, never actually as my only workout, but often as the adjunct. We used a lot of yoga asanas to stretch in martial arts classes as well. When I was young, I had watched Richard Hittleman on TV, and he introduced me to hatha yoga.

I started with a seated yoga sequence at home. It was nice, a good workout, but lonely. I am kind of used to a class environment. It's good to have companions on the journey, and a teacher to offer encouragement and tips on improving. When I started working at my new school, I found out that one of the other Spanish teachers was also a yoga instructor at a local gym. I just needed to get settled a bit before we got started.

When the Little Yoga Studio opened up, they were offering a class in "Yoga for Stress Relief". Oh yeah, sounded about right. So, about 6 weeks ago, we started classes. Kathryn Rhodes, you are a fabulous teacher! I can see improvement every week. I'm feeling more flexible and stronger already. My posture is improving. It's all good. I'll be sharing more yoga info in posts to come, talking about benefits, styles, etc. But for now? I'm enjoying the first, small changes.