Yogi, from the Urban Dictionary; “One who practices yoga and has achieved a high level of spiritual insight” or this; “to have sex with a girl using no condom” (never heard that definition!), or this; “One who is of yogi bear resemblance, got a yogi swagger to him. Stealing piknik baskets is a metaphor For he gets what he wants. Sleek style” (I like that one). For our purposes the first definition is the one we want.
One activity I wanted to take up upon retirement was yoga, and that’s what Margaret and I have done. The principle reason was to strengthen my core, work on flexibility and relieve some of my lower back pain I experience mostly when getting out of bed in the morning. (As an aside, even though I still have lower back pain getting out of bed, since retiring it is much better, ie. less stress). So we asked advice from some friends who practice yoga and found that everyone had different opinions. Some like (love, actually) hot, or Bikram yoga while others were fond of more traditional yoga such as Hatha, Vinyasa or Restorative. After some research we chose a Vinings yoga studio that offered a class simply titled Yoga For Beginners….perfect!
We’ve taken 4 or 5 of the beginning classes taught by a very patient young woman. We do some ‘positions’ that are fairly easy, and we do some that test our balance, strength and flexibility. Margaret has an easier time with some positions while I have an easier time with others. We also took a partners yoga class on Valentine’s Day that was great. There were about 15 couples in the class with the studio owner as instructor. All the positions and poses were done as a couple…many were quite difficult requiring more strength and balance than if attempted individually. The class was light hearted and fun with lots of laughter throughout, although we both had a good physical workout. As an example of the poses there was a double plank (we took turns being on top) and the double chair pose (much more difficult than one would think).
So while still in the infant stage as practitioners of yoga I must say we’re hooked. I was somewhat intimidated by the prospect of going to a studio because I’d be so new at it. Taking a beginners class was definitely good, although we have not experienced ‘judging’ by others in the class. Instructors seem to be very supportive of their students whether one is new or experienced, as this is one of the tenets of yoga; to create a stress-free environment for the hour to hour and a half one is in class. The added benefit I wasn’t expecting is the meditative benefits for both mind and body. Now I don’t want to get all metaphysical or spiritual, but there are definite benefits to practicing yoga in terms of helping to calm the mind (and thus the body), that is similar to meditating (which I do on a daily basis). I feel Margaret has gotten a great benefit not only from the physical but from the meditative benefit, as in every class there’s some form of meditating whether coming at the beginning and/or end of each session.
We’ll keep taking a class or two a week and see where this takes us. As new as we are to this, at present I feel we’ll stick to it. We’ve already experienced the physical and mental benefits, plus we like the people who teach and take classes. The instructors truly believe in what they’re teaching and students are there because they want to be, each for their own reasons. At the end of each class there’s a group bliss as we float out of the studio, and I for one like it! Comments? Would love to hear about your experiences with yoga.
As that famous quote from Yogi Bear goes; “Boo Boo, you’ve tried to stop my brilliant ideas with common sense a thousand times. Has it ever worked?”