Mark Richards


Thursday, March 11, 2004

The Week of Firsts Continues

This week sure has been a week of firsts: first golf lesson, first time I let a friend cut my hair, first softball game. And last night was possibly the culmination of my week of firsts because I took my first yoga class.

A couple of weeks ago, Sarah and I went to a charity date auction. Our friend Sean was set to be auctioned off and we decided to bid on him. To our surprise we actually won. We did not expect to win and had no idea what to do with him. Then it finally came to us. Sean is pretty big into yoga and we thought it would be cool to give it a try and go with a pro since we had a pro at our disposal, the plan seemed to be perfect. How little did I know.

When the idea first came to us, I was like "Yeah, that's cool. How hard could it be?" But once I sat down and started thinking about it, I became relatively nervous. Actually, I was more nervous than I had been in a while. So last night we met up with Sean at Yoga Samadhi which is his yoga location of choice. When we got there something changed though. I went from nervous to terrified. I was totally freaking out that I would look like a total idiot and not be able to do any of the poses and that people would laugh at my inability and my inflexibility. Thankfully, most of my fears were unwarranted.

The yoga experienced turned out to be different than I expected. I am not sure what I expected exactly, but I would have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Yes there were some moves that I had trouble performing and my lack of flexibility did hinder me at points, but overall I was able to get the full experience. The class came in three parts: a warm up, a workout, and a cool down. While the workout part was definitely a physical challenge and great exercise, what I will remember from the class is the relaxation that I experienced. For over an hour, you are told to take big deep inhalations and make big exhalations which are extremely relaxing and take your mind away from the stress of the exercises. The last twenty minutes involved lying on your back, clearing your mind, and taking deep breathes. I can honestly say that I do not think that I was ever that relaxed without actually being asleep. It felt as if my body was asleep and my mind was at peace, but I was consciously not sleeping. Totally weird! I loved it! It is very difficult to explain the feeling. One would have to experience it.

I really enjoyed my yoga experience and I believe I will have to try it again because I am very sore today, yet I was very relaxed last night. I am going to have to give yoga two thumbs up. Thanks Sean!


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