To Yoga Or Not To Yoga

That is the question!

This week I purchased a $30 for 30 days of unlimited yoga at a local studio. It’s a 2 minute walk from my building, and the closest one to me.

I’ve never gone to a yoga studio before, and really don’t know a whole lot about yoga, other than it’s supposed to help you become more bendy and relaxed. On Monday this week I was feeling quite stressed at work, so I registered for their evening “Release” class and bought the $30 introductory pass. I felt immensely better after the class, more relaxed but not much more bendy. It’s only one class after all ????

I was busy Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, so couldn’t go to those evening classes. I went to the “Friday Flow” class, and then went to the “Core” class on Saturday afternoon. That core class was tough! I need to work some more on my core apparently!

I have difficulty with floor poses like downward dog that require me to put pressure on my wrists, because I’ve recently developed carpal tunnel in my left wrist. I’ve also been unable to do any push ups because of it, so my arms are getting flabby! *sigh* I will need to get myself some push up handles otherwise I’m going to have butterfly triceps really soon! EEK! Flabby arms! I hates ‘em! I’m hoping the handles will relieve some of the pressure. Or I’ll have to do the poses and push ups on my knuckles, which is kind of awkward and painful as well.

After just 3 classes, I have noticed some benefits. Though I’m a bit stiff in the midsection after the core class yesterday, which is expected of a tough workout! My hike this morning through the conservation area was easier done than it has been lately. Kreacher and I found a new trail this morning that has some rather steep inclines, and my legs were more able to maneuver and weren’t so painful going up, which is a blessing. I was starting to worry that these new symptoms would hold me back, and I don’t want that to happen! So, I’m doing all I can to work through them, and figure them out. My recent trip to the doctor resulted in no suggestions, so I’m on my own, as usual. Me and all of my paleo resources of course ????

I will keep up with as many classes as I can get to until my 30 days are up, but unfortunately, unless I win the $1000 a week for life lottery, I can’t afford their regular monthly membership fee of $90+. Seriously, why so expensive? I’d have to go twice a day to justify that price! I figure I will learn quite a lot in 30 days however, and will be able to do more at home than I had been doing previously, when I knew next to nothing about how to put all the poses together, or what they’re supposed to look like for real.

There are some people in these classes who must be made out of rubber! One woman in the Friday class, she looked to be in her 40s maybe, holy catz! Can she bend! Maybe she’s in the Cirque de Soleil or something. I wonder if I will ever be that bendy? How long does it take to be able to do these poses without wincing in pain? Without wobbling, or without shaking, and without your muscles screaming at you “what the FUCK are you DOING?” LOL! Not that I had too much of that going on, except for in the core class. Seriously, when will I ever need the skill of balancing a brick on my shins whilst I’m balancing on my bum and folded into a V position? 

All joking aside, I should mention that there is such a thing as too much stretching. You can do some serious harm to yourself if you’re not careful and try to do some of these poses and mimic the experts when you’re in your first few classes. Take it easy, don’t try to do too much, and if there’s something your body doesn’t want to do, don’t do it! Even experienced yogis can injure themselves, so as a novice, I’m taking it easy. Check out this article I found on yoga injuries and how to avoid them. 

I think one of the greatest advantages to going to a class where there are others to practice with is the community. I’ve done yoga poses by myself, the few that I know of, at home alone. I used to use my Wii Fit and my physical therapist taught me some to use specifically for the difficulties that I have with my body. I just never really knew how to flow them all together. The Wii Fit yoga program is too fragmented, with too many stops in between poses, and doing just 4 or 5 poses on the same joints all the time over extends just those areas (see article linked above!)

Joining in a yoga class with others, led by an experienced practitioner not only helps you learn how to do the poses correctly, but I personally have felt that the hive mind feel is beneficial as well. “hive mind” may not be the best descriptor (Star Trek fans are thinking “WTF Reebs! We’re not Borg!”) but it’s all I can think of at the moment. When everyone in the room is all breathing, all moving and flowing, there’s a beauty to that, and I think on a sub-conscious level it is helpful to the psyche. The meditative effect is what helps us un-wind, relax, and find that place within ourselves that is peaceful and zen. Remember my tagline Healthy is contagious! There are health benefits to sharing your life with other people.

So, after my 30 days are up, I may just drop in once a week or so to this studio, depending on budgets and such. Even 4 times per month will cost me $60, which may be out of reach for me, and a lot of other people! Maybe I can find another studio that doesn’t charge so much, and maybe I can learn enough in this 30 days to create my own practice at home, and just drop in 2 times per month. I’ll see how things go. But I am enjoying the benefits enough that I feel I should be doing a regular yoga practice, in conjunction with strength training I was doing before my wrist injury. Seriously, even body weight exercise is difficult with carpal tunnel! No push ups, no bird dogs, no mountain climbers, etc etc etc…autoimmune disease is incredibly frustrating! I am always learning new things, and figuring out ways to fix what my immune system is breaking.

If you need help figuring out ways to fix your broken immune system, fill out one of the above Health History forms under Resources.   Let’s set up a free one hour health history session and talk about your struggles and goals.

 

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