Monday, April 4, 2016

93. Yoga

I’ve started going back to yoga classes. I first started doing yoga classes just about two years ago. I haven’t been practicing regularly sense then, but I thought it was time to try something different because I don’t think my knees can handle running everyday.

I first started doing yoga (I feel weird saying practicing) after I got a job at the newspaper. I worked evenings and didn’t have a car, so my scope of things to do during the day was very limited. I found a yoga studio that was in Davis Square, about a 15 minute walk from my house. I started going during the noon hour because it was a convenient time and the classes were never that crowded. I was also pretty much the only male who went to said classes.

During that time, I was seeing a therapist to help deal with anxiety. I had lots of questions about where I was going with my life and the best way to get there. I’d get lost in lots of things. It felt like I was being chewed up by it all. I worried if I was doing the right thing. I worried if I was making enough money. I worried about lots and lots of things. Social media and instantaneous communication did not help out at all. I had to step out for my health.

The thing I liked most about it was having an excuse to get away from my phone for a while. I could just focus on what was in front of me. If I didn’t, I’d fall over or seriously hurt myself.

I don’t always believe in the crunchy-granola health stuff. I think while the basic premises of these things are good (relaxation, centering yourself, breathing) there’s a lucrative market in the whole thing. I think there are health benefits in much simpler and cheaper actions. (For example, putting your phone away for an hour can help you destress as much as some 7 dollar bottle of juice.) I don’t have science to back me up, but I think getting away from it all is easier than I think.

So why am i going back to doing yoga? I enjoy it. It’s physically challenging, and I’m don’t enjoy gyms all that much. To be perfectly honest, I really hate being around other people when I exercise. That’s my time to get away from everything and just be with my thoughts. I know yoga studios are sometimes crowded, but the basic premise just comes back to yourself. You’re not competing (or at least you’re not supposed be) against anyone. it’s just you figuring out what you need. I like that.

What do I hope to get out of it? Well, lots of things, mainly some upper body and core strength. (It’s intimidating when your girlfriend has better toned arms than you do.) Also, some relaxation and opportunity to step out of the constant stream of blather that fills our daily lives. I’ll pay money for that.

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