Most of the time I enjoy exercising, and I've tried just about every kind. Except spin class. My knees are too scared of spin.
A few years ago I tried yoga at home using a DVD, and it was kind of...meh. So when my husband suggested it last summer, I was less than enthusiastic. And a little surprised. My hubby is more of the "go hard until you drop" type of exerciser. But he had heard good things from a friend, and thought it might help his lower back pain.
Willing to give it another try, I did a little research, and found a studio nearby. Soon we were signed up for our first Hatha class. With yoga mats and water bottles in hand, we arrived to find the room...hot. Like summer in the desert hot. Apparently I missed that part during registration. Oops.
Never mind, because an hour later, we were hooked, and we've been going twice a week ever since. Hot yoga or not, this is why we love it:
One. Our flexibility and balance have improved. This is a big one, especially as you get older. Nobody wants to fall down and break a hip. Okay, I'm not that old. But I don't want to break my arm either. On the first day, I couldn't stand on one leg for more than a few seconds without falling over. Now I can do all of the poses, and hold them for 30 seconds or more. They may not look pretty, but I'm doing them.
Two. My blood pressure and anxiety have gone down, quite a bit. I attribute it to the deep breathing and calming of the mind that occurs during yoga practice. I'll most likely never be able to go off my blood pressure medication, since things like college tuition and owning a business are part of my every day life. But yoga definitely helps.
|We're a hot, sweaty mess.|
Three. We both feel much stronger. Holding poses works the muscles, and I really notice the difference when I do strength training workouts. My husband's lower back has steadily improved, and my body is doing things it couldn't do a few months ago.
Four. Better sleep. Peri menopause (mine, not his - although mine probably causes him some sleepless nights) messes with your sleep patterns. I feel more peaceful when I lay down at night, and if I wake up at 2am, practicing yoga breathing puts me right back to dream land.
Five. It's fun. The hour flies by, and we leave the studio with lifted spirits. We've never exercised together before, but we enjoy a little competition. It's fun to see who can do a better standing bow pose. Sadly, it's currently my husband, dang it. But I will prevail!
We'll probably never be yogi's, but we are healthier, stronger, and more relaxed. Namaste!