I took my first yoga class last night at High Altitude Fitness. It was very enjoyable I must say. I don’t know why I haven’t taken this up before?
We started off sitting on our mats, crossed legged with no shoes on. Our hands rested on our knees with our palms facing up. We did some breathing exercises where we were encouraged to “push aside” everything going on in our lives and focus on our bodies.
At first I thought – uh…you mean I’m supposed to NOT think about that project I have at work, or how Bethenny Ever After is on tonight OR how my game of Angry Birds is going? Impossible! :)
Soon though, I found myself lost in the class, focused on my breathing and relaxation, while everything else sort of melted away. Again- why did I never do this before?
One of the big reasons why I dug this yoga class is because it helped with my anxiety. Unfortunately, I am prone to feeling anxious – my body just handles stress worse than others. When going through even a slightly stressful situation, I feel short of breath, my chest gets tight and I have a constant nervous feeling I can’t shake.
People who haven’t had anxiety don’t get it. I get a lot of “just stop being nervous” or “it’s not a big deal though.” And while my head knows it’s nothing to worry about, I just can’t shut my body off! It’s the pits.
Several years ago I stopped drinking caffeine. That helped. And I also learned how to live through times when I felt anxious. Hugs from Luke help ease it too. :)
It’s gotten 100x better since moving to Tahoe. I think it’s a mix of living in such a beautiful place, getting more exercise outside and working at a ski resort. Oh and still not drinking caffeine – one week I accidentally made regular all week and didn’t understand why my anxiety was out of control!
Anyway, back to the yoga class. It was pretty crazy to me how much more flexible I became as the class went on- mainly because I was focused on relaxing my muscles. I never realized how much tightness I carry around in my shoulders, hands and legs all the time.
We did several balance poses, strength poses where you hold yourself up, and even headstands! I was told later that headstands are a fairly advanced move, so I was happy that I was able to do them without a problem.
At the end of the class, I felt really good. My hips and back – sore from sitting 8 hours a day – were open and stretched, my heart rate was up, but I didn’t feel run down or exhausted, and my head felt clear and relaxed. I slept like a log too.
Have you guys done yoga before? What do you do to ease stress and feel relaxed?