As part of my “Get Fit By 40” regimen, codename: Start Moving Shithead, I’ve been going to yoga on a regular basis. Five days a week I’m at the studio becoming one with the universe before a calm and centered woman, usually with some sort of OM tattoo and soothing secretarial phone voice, works me like a damn dog.
The instructors are actually very nice about it. They never yell at, berate or shame me into working harder. They don’t have to. I just look around the room at folks ten years my senior doing binds, brushing their right inner thigh against their left ear and not even breaking a sweat after their tenth vinyasa sequence and that’s all the motivation I need.
You’re supposed to leave your ego at the door when you attend a yoga class, but a little humility goes a long way. I don’t use it to bash myself as much as I use it to motivate me to return. In yoga age doesn’t really matter so seeing folks older than you doing an advanced practice just makes you realize that your hard work and perseverance will pay off in the end.
The change is slow going, but changes are a-happening. Pants are getting looser, muscles are defining themselves and making an appearance, and joy of joys, my knee pain is finally subsiding. But most importantly, I FEEL stronger because during every class, I do something a little better than the day before. Maybe I have more torque on my twists, fold a little more forward, touch the mat with my entire palm not just my finger tips or simply get further along in the session before retreating into child’s pose and sobbing like school girl.
Since goals are good, my first goal is to increase my core strength to be able to do this:
That sequence may look easy, but even the jumping up to the front of the mat section was hard because he used his stomach muscles to lift his entire lower body into the air before moving it forward towards his hands. That’s hard to do. If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself. Control requires strength.
So if you think yoga is a sweet little peace-loving, hippy, granola crunching practice in mindfulness, you’re only half right. It’s also a sweat inducing, strength building, heart pumping, ass kicking.
Link to the Youtube video here.