Namast-yay: Finally tried yoga

Downward KB

I was a skeptic.  Pilates, sure.  Zumba, definitely.  But I still didn’t think yoga was something that was for me.  It seemed too serious for something that was supposed to be relaxing; a little too rigid for something that was supposed to help you loosen up and be more flexible; and a little too zzzzzz for something that was supposed to be considered exercise. Finally, late to the party, I’m discovering this fitness phenomenon for myself… and am realizing I’m kinda stoked about it. I had this friend who, just within the past few years, finally saw the movie “Titanic,” and was eager to talk about it with anyone who might share the same newfound enthusiasm. That’s how I feel about yoga right now.

I think one of the deterrents for any new, physical activity is the very thing that should peak your interest – the forum where you have to attempt this physicality in the presence of others.  So awkward.  And it doesn’t matter if it’s free.  You know what else is free and burns calories?  Anxiety over deciding to attend a class.  Even with the activities that I’m naturally prone to, like Hip-Hop or Zumba, where I’m highly likely to enjoy the experience.

Having not been in a workout routine since my wedding two years ago, and not finding a new exercise activity to sign up for since we moved from SF to Oakland in the past year or so, I was very aware I was in a rut.  I had to figure something out. No gym, no exercise classes, no gear… too many excuses.

Minimal requirements.  And if you’re yoga-ing at home, you don’t even need the mat.

The modern life-hack these days starts with an app. Oh, it’s a free app? Even better. I downloaded this app called Asana Rebel in an effort to give yoga a try. The features of the app, along with a cool aesthetic made it a hit with me. Not to mention the instructor’s voice is hip, slightly raspy, and strangely soothing, but not in a weird new-agey, eye-rolling kind of way. The music is also incredibly chill, and not some corny nature soundtrack.   All the poses are explained and demonstrated, including little blurbs about the benefits of each.  Excellent way to ease in a newbie.  Each work out is about 15 minutes long, including warm up, and my favorite ending to each session: savasana – a moment to lay there and do nothing but feel good and pat yourself on the back with your inner-gaze.

Puppy pose, I think

Even if I’m not doing it right (probably), I am totally feeling the benefits of yoga already. Not to mention the sheer benefit of doing yoga at home ; free from public witness, regular monetary expenses (if I wanted more challenging workouts from the app, there are paid subscriptions available), and free from the guilt I would otherwise still carry for not having found the right exercise gig to keep healthy, balanced, and fit.  The real benefit is knowing that I finally gave yoga a chance, and I’m actually enjoying it.

Savasana, yo.

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