Yoga – an update

29 11 2011

Sun salutation (I believe this section is the downward facing dog - I can do this bit of it) However this is not me! Photo credit Moobs

I wrote recently about my experience as a novice in yoga. Unfortunately I have been a sporadic attendee for various reasons but managed to get there again a few times recently. I am still very much a beginner, but as well as the benefits of stretching and exercise, I am learning things about myself. What I am learning is….

1. I cannot coordinate breathing and movement. (and yes, I can walk and talk at the same time)

2. I have a two-second memory span for instructions such as “do this on the inhale and that on the exhale”. Two seconds later I can’t remember which one I do on inhale. I think this is because of the enormous concentration reserves required for me to coordinate breathing and movement (see point 1) Again, this is not what I am normally like, I hold down a good job and study at the tertiary level. Why can’t I remember when to breathe in?

3. Yoga people tend to be slim because otherwise your “extra tyre” gets in the way of bending. It is more than just flexibility.

4. Yoga is much more that the pretzel-like poses that are usually advertised (thank goodness). Halfway-getting the pose has benefits as well.

5. Some parts of yoga are very similar to pilates-type exercises. It is also similar to the stretches my Exercise Physiologist recommended, and I suspect there are elements of the Alexander technique as well. Very holistic.

6. A decent pedicure is very important…. or at least fresh toe-nail polish.

7. It’s actually not that easy to empty your mind and concentrate. Given some quiet time my brain tends to mull over issues….not focus. (see points one and two above)

8. Yoga is fun when you are doing it with other people of similar age and skill level (OK, I flatter myself, they are all more practiced than me, but we are still the beginners class).

9. Not being able to do things is not a problem when you can laugh. And this is a class with lots of laughter.

10. It is possible to fall asleep during certain exercises, particularly if you had a disturbed night’s sleep the night before. However, you may not be the only one. Try not to snore.

One final last thing – I suspect I am progenitor of the most ungainly sun salutation ever seen.

Clearly I need more practice!

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6 responses

29 11 2011
insideshantarasa

Awesome!!! I love it!! These are great observations. And so true for most people I know.

The breathing can be tricky to get used to at first- it takes some time, then it gets easier to coordinate with movement.

Same with the mulling things over….it still happens, no matter how long you’ve been practicing. It changes, but it’s usually still there in some form. Then, suddenly the mind stops it’s normal hustle- just for a moment, then a few moments, and it’s amazing. Yay!

As you said…it’s all just practice.

PS Your sun salutations are just fine!

29 11 2011
Mudmap

thanks – nice to know its not just me! It does seem funny that breathing is difficult – I have been doing since I was born (with some practicing of the muscels in utero as well I believe!)

I shall persevere!

29 11 2011
savasana addict

Once you get into a routine your body will know automatically when to inhale and when to exhale – the other way around just doesn’t feel natural anymore. If you fall asleep during savasana it means 1) you’re truly relaxed, which is great but 2) you don’t get enough sleep during night and your body uses every minute it gets to drift off 😉
Keep up the practice, it just gets better and better and better…..

29 11 2011
Mudmap

thanks – I am hoping to develop that automatic knowledge! And I suspect for me it was option number two today. And hopefully a little of option number one. Thanks for your encouragement!

30 11 2011
Sheeple Liberator

So true! We are similar.

30 11 2011
Mudmap

glad to know it isn’t just me!

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