If you haven’t noticed (of course you should have!) I’ve been really getting into yoga over here. I wanted to share a bit about my yoga experience. The idea for this post struck me after a FREE yoga session at Pranayoga Yoga and Health Studio, where the shavasana (final relaxation or resting pose) at the end of class was accompanied by some music including a Hindu chant. The chant kinda got me thinking more about my feelings about yoga and why I practice. (More about the chant in a few graphs…)
To back the train up a bit first let’s add some context … The first time I practiced yoga was in college. At the time yoga was offered for a nominal fee of like $15 or $20 per semester of all you can want classes. What a deal in retrospect! Classes were usually taught by students but I really enjoyed the experience. And for the most part the instructors took it very serious so I never felt like I was shorted. One instructor in particular taught most of the classes I attended, and to my recollection during final resting pose she would provide visuals from nature for us to focus on.
Fast forward to 2011. With the exception of using some yoga DVDs from time to time at home, I really did not practice again for about four years. Sometime in 2009 I did take part in a 1-day yoga relaxation session at the gym, but that was about it. My interest with yoga reignited, literally, just this spring when I was invited by my friend “LC” to attend a FREE Community Yoga day in Fort Wayne. Shortly thereafter I began to regularly check out new yoga DVDs from the library and then I signed up for a 7-week hatha yoga session at my gym. If you have noticed “yoga” every Thursday on my weekly recaps… now you know! I guess I was being a little hush-hush about my practice. Until now.
I have been thoroughly enjoying my gym class. It’s a relaxing type of yoga but the poses have enough depth to them to challenge me. And of course, I really enjoy how the instructor does a lengthy warm-up and end relaxation. The class is 90-minutes, which I purposely chose. I figured with 90-minutes I would have a stronger chance of truly enjoying the class. With only an hour I might feel rushed. It’s been a great class and I would sign up again. Sadly it is coming to an end this week, which leaves me to decide if I sign up for another session or seek out other yoga options.
The reason I mentioned my personal distaste with the Hindu chant at a class I attended, was because as a Christian I am not in favor of the so-called spiritual aspect of yoga. I do not consider yoga a spiritual event or activity. It’s just my personal preference. That being said, at this point and time, the music or a few words said by an instructor, are not going to turn me completely away from attending a class. I just prefer to block that out of my mind and focus on relaxing my mind and body. I take yoga classes as gift in the form of exercise from God. I believe God wants me (and everyone, not just me!) to have a break in my day and doing so makes me a better friend, wife and person. Yoga, for me, is one way to take that break.