Yoga for Disbelievers


I’ll be the first to admit it.  I’m a runner who is terrible about stretching, rolling, and cross training.  Oh, I’ll be good for awhile, particularly if I’m trying to recover from some injury, but then I fall back into the habit of only running.

Because of some problems with headaches that my daughter has been experiencing, her doctor wanted her to try yoga to see if it would help.  She didn’t want to go alone, so I’ve been going to yoga with her.  We’ve only attended about 5 sessions so far, so it’s a bit early to tell if I’m getting any running benefit, but we are both actually starting to like it.  Here are a few of the reasons this disbeliever may actually keep going once my month membership expires:

  1. I have a lot of stress in my life right now.  In about a month, I go from being a busy mom with two kids at home to an empty-nester.  I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t stressing me out.  For the 45-75 minutes I’m on that mat, I can try to put some of that stress away.
  2. Negative thoughts tend to occupy my mind.  Every class (at least at the studio I am using) starts with setting an intention.  There is usually some lesson and recently they’ve really spoken to me.  I don’t think that’s a coincidence.  I’ve been setting intentions to “think of a positive to counter the negative” or “let it go”, whatever may work for that day.
  3. My legs are TIGHT.  I’m starting to really like postures that stretch my hamstrings and Achilles.  Most poses start or end in Downward Facing Dog, which really feels pretty amazing.
  4. My upper body is WEAK.  A large number of poses incorporate the entire body, and especially the arms and core.  I’m hoping to increase my strength in these areas.
  5. Pigeon feels amazing on the hips.  Even my daughter likes this one.  And don’t even get me started on Child’s Pose.
  6. Everyone works at their own level.  There will be people there who have the flexibility of wet noodles and many like me who can’t touch their toes or straighten their legs.  It’s ok.  Grab a couple blocks, a strap, whatever you need and do what you can.

If you are even the slightest bit interested in yoga, I strongly recommend you give it a try.  Find a reputable studio that specializes in yoga, talk to the instructors/teachers about your specific needs, and don’t be afraid to modify the moves as needed.

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