First Things First

I’ve hesitated to write a post about this because I don’t want to come across as New Age.  I really don’t know what that word means and I think yoga is often associated with being New Age.

But I learn a lot from its practice. 

First, I think that I should explain what I mean by “practicing yoga”.  Before I started yoga, the phrase “practicing yoga” intimidated me.  Immediately, I conjured up images of hours in virtual silence as I contort my body in completely unnatural positions.  All for what?  I wasn’t sure.  But I was pretty sure that as soon as I started yoga I would instantly become longer, leaner, and more flexible.  (To my continued disappointment it doesn’t quite work that way.) 

So one evening, when I was feeling out of sorts and like I just needed to do something…anything, I went to a yoga class.    It was reminiscent of ballet which I found comforting.  Yoga was new territory, but ballet was familiar.  I was never excellent at ballet, but I took classes as a child so I did have a frame of reference for what was being asked of me: patience with myself, appreciation of my physical body, calm for my mind.

I do yoga between two and four times a week from a DVD that I bought.  The video has five, twenty-minute classes that focus on different muscle groups.  Nothing is extremely difficult.  Well, I should say, nothing appears to be extremely difficult.  But I have tight muscles and a curve in my spine so for me it’s all varying levels of difficult.

The instructor reminds me to breathe.  Which in the beginning was especially important because I found that I was constantly holding my breath, willing my body to stretch further than it was prepared to go.  And I soon discovered that scenario mirrored life.  Often if I was uncomfortable with where I was, I tried to power forward to get to where I wanted to be.  But whenever I’d rush through an exercise, of any description, I later found that I had missed an important part of preparation.

Yoga helped teach me to appreciate where I am.  Do first things first so that when I get grow into the next stage I can really appreciate it.

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1 Comment

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One response to “First Things First

  1. Oh, my goodness! I am just starting to get back into yoga and can totally relate to your post. I am in no way, New Age. Being a Christian, I was tempted to believe Christians don’t practice yoga. However, I found I can use yoga as a time to focus on God. Also, I am not a big fan of other forms of exercise and since I have a long history of ballet, it is comforting.

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