What Do You Wear To A Yoga Class?
The other day I decided to try yoga for the first time in my life. As a person who is never afraid to try out new things, when my friend suggested I join him for a yoga class at our neighborhood gym, I gladly accepted. I’ve never been a particularly bendy person, so the thought of stretching myself out on a rubber mat for an hour in cobra pose was something I knew I would not excel at. I went in to the class focusing more on the idea that it might calm me, center me, or at least test my level of flexibility so I would know where I currently fall on the scale from Grandma to Stretch Armstrong. I was hoping for at least a three. I’ve had a very on-again, off-again relationship with physical fitness during my life, but at this point I’d like to be on again, especially since bikini season is right around the corner. I knew yoga would not be as intense as spinning or boot camp, but I thought it would still be a good test of my strength and endurance.
Before even leaving for the class, I was faced with a dilemma: what does one wear to a yoga class? I don’t have anything in my wardrobe that equates to yoga-chic. I do not own athletic tops that have matching athletic bottoms. I ended up in the same old stuff I usually wear to the gym, loose pants and a tank top, which isn’t especially flattering, but at least (hopefully) made my butt look good.
I must say that the nice, calm, beginner’s yoga class really challenged me at some points. Who knew how much ab strength goes into centering yourself! The yoga instructor, who knew it was my first class, was very skilled at making sure everyone went at their own pace and explaining different ways of doing each position to suit your abilities. We started with some breathing exercises and then went through the whole repertoire of basic positions (including downward facing dog, a personal favorite), and then ended up attempting head stands, followed by tripods, which I haven’t done since 6th grade gym class. Needless to say those were a little beyond my capabilities as a novice, but I did what I could.
Ending the class with more breathing exercises, it was amazing how calming it was to listen to the instructor’s directions. She told us to be aware of our heaviness, and I felt heavy. She told us to be aware of our lightness, and I felt light. With each breath, my body relaxed more and more until I could have just about taken a nap right there on the floor. My mind, which is normally functioning at warp speed ticking through all the things I need to accomplish, focused solely on releasing the energy from my body and relaxing my entire self from the tips of my toes to the crown of my head.
Yoga is something I never thought I would be interested in, but now that I’ve tried it, I am eager to go back and try to make progress. Thanks to a pass for seven free classes, I have the opportunity to return once a week for almost two months and see how much more bendy I can become. To anybody out there who is considering getting started with yoga, I would highly recommend that you at least give it a shot. If nothing else, you’ll spend an hour harnessing your inner energy, which is probably something that could benefit us all. Namaste.