What It Takes To Try Something “New” And What Happened To Yoga For Beginners?

Edwin

Lunch with Edwin Gil at Luna Living Kitchen

I had been following my friend Edwin Gil during his 365 days of yoga challenge. Witnessing his amazing body transformation I couldn’t help but think I should take action on my doctor’s (and my shrink’s, and my chiropractor’s, and my massage therapist’s, and my late mother’s) advice on start practicing yoga to slow down my racing thoughts since to be able to relax at night and stay asleep was becoming a tall order without some pharmaceutical help. My doctor also recommended it to manage my weight  (because of my family’s medical history it would be better for me to lose a few pounds to be on the safe side about diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, etc.) I asked my friend about his yoga challenge  and he kindly invited me to a “not so hard” yoga class called Hot Vinyasa. I explained that I hadn’t practiced yoga in more than a decade, but he was confident I could handle this class. So I went. Kyle Conti, the instructor, smiled as he introduced himself and advised me to follow the woman in front of me if I missed his cues. I started sweating almost from the moment I stepped in. It was basically a sauna but you are on a mat and with your clothes on! Oh no!! I forgot to bring a bottle of water! 😦

Class started with planks, Downward Facing Dogs, Downward Dogs on one leg, Warrior 1, Warior 2, Peaceful Warrior, Half Moon. In the meantime Kyle was asking us to breath deeply and slowly. Ouch! I couldn’t stop shaking! “Inhale, downward facing dog, exhale lift up right leg…” Ouch! I couldn’t think I could make it to the end, specially when he indicated to rest in a half split. How can all these people “rest” in such uncomfortable position? Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! I must confess I was about to exit almost every time Kyle spoke. I was feeling like one of those big turtles from my childhood in Buenaventura, Colombia. Grandma Nina used to catch them and after killing them, she would hang them for days for them to drip most of their fat. I was dripping sweat, fat, maybe blood, and I was feeling slippery all over. Kyle’s voice pulled me out of my little puddle of embarrassment. “You are the boss of your mat. You control whatever happens on your mat.” Yeah! I’m the boss! I’m here for a reason, and I’m going to make it! I took a towel, wiped off the sweat from my body and the mat and went back in the saddle, plus, Kyle’s playlist was pretty cool. I went into a trance with Purity Rain, Jessy Lanza, Kyle’s directions somewhere in my yellow submarine (you’d get this if you’re from my generation or the previous one ☺), and if I felt tired I just went to a child pose for half a minute.

Time ceased to exist. Suddenly Kyle was giving us cold towels to put on our faces and as I was lying on my back, refreshed by this cold item and its lavender fragrance I gave thanks to God for carrying me through to the end. Everything was sore that night and even worsened in the morning; however the pain made me realize that despite of all the exercise I do, there are muscles I am not working hard enough, or not at all; so I went back the next day. This time I met with Rowena. Her playlist was pretty cool, too! Beck, Matisyahu, Shanghai Restoration Project. Even though I was very sore from the previous Hot Vinyasa session, I was able to go through the asanas in a smoother way. Warrior 1, Warrior 2, Warrior Me! ☺ Still sore I dared to go to my Zumba class that evening and I realized how energized my morning class had left me. Irina, our Zumba instructor makes us (the front row) to do push ups if we forget the steps because the rest of the class is following us. I think I messed up about 5 times, but my arms were already feeling so strong I actually enjoyed the experience.

Dancer

The dancer asana with instructor Jaimis.

My third day of  yoga was another Hot Vinyasa hour for which I came 100% prepared. Cold water, big towel for my mat, and small towel for my face. This time I could even made an inverse plank! I was ecstatic at how the body works. Three days only. Three days and my legs flex farther, my arms elongate higher, my wrists held me on planks and downward dogs lengthier.

I wonder what else I will be able to do and in how long. One more time I confirm that you only have to change your state of mind and your body will follow. I’ll keep you posted!

Namaste XOXO ♥

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