Bright and Early Back Bends

Two things have happened already today that haven’t taken place since my figure skating days. 1) Being awake and energetic at 5:30am and 2) doing a back bend. Both were equally impressive for me as I am the WORST waker upper and my flexibility has plummeted since my days of spirals and beilmans; I can barely touch my toes. I’m sure if I had to do this on a regular basis I would want to kill myself, but today…it feels great. In case you’re wondering where I did a back bend in the wee hours of the morning, it was in a Power Yoga class. GO TRY A YOGA CLASS!

Here are my three tips for any new yoga person:

1) Definitely try to get into a beginners class for your first time. Mastering the basics is crucial for progression.

2) Take 4 or 5 classes before you decide yay or nay about yoga. There is a lot to take in and understand about the practice, and it certainly won’t happen in an hour.

3) GET INTO IT! Don’t feel weird about breathing or an awkward pose (get ready for ‘happy baby’ – feels great). Let yourself focus on you for once, shut your eyes and shut off your thoughts.

I am a firm believer in switching up workouts in order to challenge your entire body and I absolutely love jumping into a class once or twice a week. The first time I tried yoga I thought it was a little bizarre with all the breathing (crazy concept, right?) and heart centers. I think the strangest thing was the breath because we are used to it just happening without much, if any, thought. It took me three or four times to really grasp the focus on it and moving with it. A major yoga myth that I am going to go ahead and clear up is that it’s easy – WRONG. SO SO SO NOT EASY. In fact I sweat my ass off in class this morning and had to use a lot of modifications as others took it up a notch. In the past I’ve had some stress/anxiety issues (ladies? can ya feel me?) and I will say that the breathing techniques have also helped outside of the yoga studio by calming my thoughts so they are not going 1,000 miles a minute.  In summary, yoga = challenging (hello sexy toned arms, core and legs), stress-reducing and a definite ‘must try’ for everyone. GO!

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