Stepping outside of my Comfort Zone – YOGA!
We are all creatures of habit, it’s easy to stay in a safe routine and not challenge ourselves. Sometimes we need to throw caution to the wind, try something new and step outside of our comfort zone…….for me it was Yoga!
Twelve months ago my wife finally persuaded me to attend her hot yoga class. This was after weeks of saying; ’I’m not flexible enough’, ‘How hard can it really be?’, ’I don’t really want to sit around stretching and listening to people chant’.
Answers to those questions came very quickly during my first class………..
1. I DEFINITELY wasn’t flexible, but isn’t that one of the reasons why I SHOULD GO to a yoga class?
2. It was REALLY hard, both physically and mentally!
3. There was no chanting and the stretching certainly wasn’t like I imagined it.
I was firstly surprised by how many men were in the class and also the huge variation in ages, shapes and sizes. I thought to myself, I am far fitter than any of these people, this is going to be a piece of cake. 20 minutes later, it seemed like I had sweated every ounce of the water in my body out and I realised that my balance (after falling numerous times!), was even worse than my flexibility (which took some beating!).
I couldn’t touch my toes during my first class, which frustrated me and literally every single part of my body was engaged, stretched and working hard at some point. All of this to think about, whilst attempting to incorporate a calm yoga breath.
I had completely misunderstood yoga and I will be the first to admit it. I imagined that it would be a lovely stretching class with soft music. The reality is, that it’s a physically and emotionally demanding activity, but boy did I feel good afterwards!
Over the last 12 months, yoga has brought balance into my life, it’s improved my flexibility (I can finally touch my toes, in fact I can put my hands flat on the floor – gold star!) and it has improved my physical and more importantly, my mental strength.
Studies have shown that yoga can contribute to our health and lengthen our lives by reducing stress, increasing muscle strength and flexibility in our bodies, so really it’s a win win activity.
For all those cynics out there (like I was), give it a go. I can guarantee, you will be pleasantly surprised (and very very tired!).
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