One of the best decisions I made when I moved to California was to sign up for a bunch of classes at the yoga studio near my place. I’ve begun going to the Wednesday evening classes, an Ashtanga-inspired Vinyasa one, and quite simply, it makes me feel great.
I’m not even sure it’s the fact that it’s strengthening and stretching me out. I think it’s more the realization of my body — the moves I can make to discover how it works. Occasionally I push a little, which is how I can do things like the crow pose and warrior’s pose #3.
I’ve had to throw out some interesting misconceptions about people’s bodies and how they work. There’s a lady in my class who, to put it kindly, is not a size 0. I wondered how she’d cope with the class up until I watched her perform every move as well as the instructor. Splits, full-wheel, the works. I’ve seen people who aren’t great at balancing can hold themselves up in chaturanga, which involves more than a little arm strength. Someone sitting behind me in class today, who seemed new, also seemed hesitant about many of the steps — until the last, full-wheel, which she executed with none of that hesitation.
Eventually, one day, I’ll do the crazy poses, the ones that require ridiculous bicep and core strength. And until then I can go to bed — sore, mostly — in the knowledge that I’m creeping up to that goal.