Yoga, where have you been all my life?

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I would have written this article last week, but I wanted to be sure that my initial reaction would stick. Now that I’ve had time to sleep on it, I can sincerely say, “I love yoga!” Not where you thought I was going? Too bad. My inner peace cannot be ruffled by your disappointment.

Granted, I’ve been anti-yoga for years. I have one of those body types that require aerobic activity to be svelte, so I’ve generally poo-pooed “workouts” that didn’t get my heart rate over 180 and/or was performed to Celtic lullabies. Step, Zumba, P90X … these were my drugs of choice. I also sucked in gymnastics as a child, while my twin sister excelled. She inherited the flexibility gene while I got stuck with the orange hair and gi-normous head. Go figure. My point is, I always thought of yoga as an excuse for new-age hippies to commune together in the splits position while sipping soy-spinach smoothies, and that lifestyle just wasn’t me.

But one of my New Year’s resolutions is to meet new people, and when I saw a work email about a yoga class, I thought it the perfect opportunity to make friends. So, I put aside my biases and signed up, hoping for the best but expecting a room full of young women with dancer bodies to whom I’d never relate.

Imagine my surprise when I walked in to find seven ladies a good 20 to 30 years my senior!  How on earth was this going to be challenging or fun? “Just go with it,” I told myself. “You can start kickboxing tomorrow.” So, I smiled and began my first ever yoga class.

Hel-lo! For one hour, I stretched and breathed and attempted to contort my body into various positions, all while listening to tribal drumming and the soothing voice of our instructor. At the end, as I experienced total relaxation with lavender filled eye pillows, I practically nodded off. That evening, I was calmer and more patient than I’d been with my kids in months. The next day, my muscles ached almost everywhere, but in the good way that says, “Hey, you’re not in as good a shape as you think you are, but with more of that, you will be.”

All of this leads me to say, “Yoga, where have you been all my life? I so could have used you during the controversial twin-toddler years and most of 2006!” But, I have Yoga now, and I love her. Namaste (peace out, sorta).

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