This weekend, I attended my first yoga class in about 2 years.
The studio I went to, a converted 1920’s bungalow adorably decorated in a tropical Old Key West style, is called Yoga Arts and primarily focuses on an alignment-based Hatha practice.
Specifically, the session centered around pranayama (a Sanskrit term, meaning “extension of the life force” and the basis of meditative breathing), as well as therapeutic movements to alleviate muscular or skeletal tension.
As someone, who possesses a general background in yoga but hasn’t practiced regularly – okay…okay…at all – in quite awhile, this Hatha flow (ideal for beginners, in case you’re reading this as a yogi novice yourself, wondering where to start) was the perfect way to get my feet wet again.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much muscle memory I’ve retained. Granted the poses covered in this class weren’t extremely challenging, but – after taking such a long hiatus – it had definitely crossed my mind that I wouldn’t be able to keep pace. Turns out, yoga is like “riding a bike,” as the old expression goes.
What I love most about starting a morning off with yoga – as I rediscovered today – is the combination of low-impact relaxation and high-energy performance. I’d forgotten how even the simplest postures can improve flexibility, tighten “problem areas,” and lubricate a body’s range-of-motion without the strain, associated with some other work-outs.
There’s something tranquilly tantric about yoga. Organic. Fluid. Visceral. It’s not just an exercise. It’s a nearly out-of-body experience. A unity between the physical, mental, and emotional states. By stabilizing one’s thoughts and actions, yoga brings balance to the entire being.
Almost like poetry, you know?
Until rolling out my mat this morning for the first time since college, I didn’t even realize how much I’ve missed yoga. How much I crave this (newly-reinstated) fixture in my life. And it sure feels good to get back into practice! I’m already looking forward to another session next weekend.
So, on that note…Namaste.