I finally got myself out of bed on Sunday morning to attend Gentle Yoga. Through the bitter cold, I walked over to my gym, fighting the fierce wind and nearly slipping on a patch of ice. It was well worth it.
We were given the option to use these blocks to sit on to assist with elongation of the spine. The straps were to help with flexibility when stretching.
I did not use the apparatus, as my flexibility is fair to moderate. The problem I had with Yoga is quieting my mind during the movements. I am a very anxious person, and my thoughts are always flowing. I could be thinking anything from, what to cook for dinner, what bills need to be paid, where to shop for groceries this week, what to wear to work, what is this strange pain in my hand, ANYTHING! Allowing my mind to come to a state of total and complete relaxation is a chore. I also tend to be a chronic worrier, so Yoga is exactly what I need. By the end of the class, I was in a state of complete relaxation. We were asked by instructor, Desta, to lie on our backs, close our eyes and listen to the soft music. At this point, Desta repeated affirmations as the Chakra we worked on today was love. Placing our hands on our heart centre, we listened to Desta’s soothing voice.
I am pleasing to myself.
I express myself in a healthy and confident manner.
I deserve love and I accept it right now.
I am at peace.
I am so accustomed to high paced, hard-core classes, such as Spin and Tabata, that slowing down and making the bodily connection with each movement and being mindful of breathing patterns was also an adjustment for me. One area of my body that was brought to my attention during Yoga were my shoulders. I hold a lot of tension in these little guys, so they tend to get tight and wound up. Releasing this tension from my shoulders, and bringing them down, back and relaxed is something I need to work on. I believe that Yoga will help with this issue as well. Tense shoulders is the reason that I find the Plank exercise so difficult, so hopefully once tension is reduced I can Plank without getting anxiety-ridden.
I left the class feeling peaceful. My mind was not racing for once and my body felt relaxed. This was so new and different for me, that I don’t want the feeling to end. Gentle Yoga is the perfect way to end a busy weekend and I am truly looking forward to next’s week class.