Friday, January 7, 2011

My journey

A year ago, if someone had told me I would be leaving my house at 4:30 to get to a yoga class at 5, I would have internally said, "Not me."

A year ago, if someone had told me that I would be making walking dates -- scheduling them as I would a hair, nail or doctor appointment -- I would have internally said, "Not me."

It's the word "internally" that is key here. I talked a good game. I even wrote words that I believed to be true, but I didn't really believe I would ever love exercise.

I always exercised -- in spurts -- and always hated it. I would start exercising like a mad women, and before long, I would pull a muscle, which meant I could not exercise for a few weeks, and those few weeks turned into months.

I always found yoga intimidating -- but intriguing. In July I decided to give it a try -- after I had written a yoga story for HealthyLife magazine. Yoga4Everybody in Fairfield offers a $30 introductory fee for a month that allows you to take as many classes as you want. For the first time in my life I started slowly, with two gentle yoga classes and one restorative yoga class a week. After the first class, I found as if I had come home. My yoga classes soon became permanent fixtures in my calendar.

Yoga is now a way of life for me, a practice I do daily, sometimes two or three times a day. Sometimes it's only meditation, sometimes it's breathing, and sometimes it's a class. Today was a monthly 2 1/2 hour morning Sadhana, an inspiring, magical, almost mystical mix of sitting meditation, postures, breath and chanting. It is part of Kundalini yoga, which has become my favorite way to find inner peace and strength.

And after Sadhana, I headed to the mall for an hour power walk with my exercise buddy, Ann. I looked at my watch at 8:30, laughed, and said to Ann, "Do you believe I have just done 3 1/2 hours of exercise." Our walks are a therpay of sorts. We work out all sorts of issues, talk about everything, and before we know it, an hour has flown by.

I always knew that to embrace anything, you have to love doing it. Yoga and walking are making me whole. They are helping me become strong. And along the way, I am becoming a much happier person.

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