All the transformation videos on youtube and TV finally got to me and I decided to try a year of yoga. I was able to do about 5 days a week in studio and 1 day at home throughout the year. It helped me physically, mentally and connected me with a great community.
I kept getting knots or pulling certain muscles in the first 3 months. I started off taking classes at normal temperature and switched to hot yoga around the 4th month. The teachers in the hot yoga class usually string togethe asanas into great flows. Each class is intense but the joy at the end of 70 minute class is just amazing. After a year I’m more flexible, knees and shoulders feel like they did at 25. I recover quickly from beach volleyball or other muscular injuries.
The words of wisdom that the teachers share at the beginning or end of classes were great. Meditation is built in because every improvement came from looking inward and observing what every movement in every asana did to my body. It is spooky when instructions like “pull the skin of your shoulder blades closer together” or “pull the skin on the inner upper thigh” start making sense and I can follow some of them. Most of the teachers use music playlists and it’s quite fun to do yoga to heavy metal / classic rock / 80s / BEATLES :-) I’m able to consciously apply breathing techniques during stressful situations outside the studio.
One of the best things about yoga is the community of teachers, yogis and healers. Almost everyone is on similar inward journeys, kind and open minded. The retreats are reasonably priced and locate in the most beautiful places on earth.
What I’d do differently — I wish I did pranayama regularly. I don’t want to be a teacher but the training seems to be intense and challenging. I hope to do it in 2019.
May all beings be at peace,