Day one of Yoga is in the books! Well, technically it isn’t my FIRST time ever doing yoga, I think I have maybe taken a handful of classes ever in the the past. But today, Day one of INTENTIONALLY going to and committing to a yoga practice for a purpose, that’s in the books!

First day of yogaSee, I have always fought going to yoga. I may be yelled at by many as I say this, but I never really looked at it as a workout in the past. I really felt there was no benefit, for ME, in doing it. I didn’t (and still don’t TOTALLY) understand the benefits of it and how it would impact my life.

BUT, I am now going into this whole journey open-minded to the process.

And holy shit, it is going to be a PROCESS for me!

I humbly say that MOST athletic things come fairly natural to me. Now, I realize this isn’t the case for most and it wasn’t always that way for me either. When I was younger, I had to really bust my ass to keep up with others on the basketball court. I was (am) short and was (am) skinny. But for the most part now, most athletic things come easy to me.

With that being said, wow, day one kicked me on my ass…and proceeded to laugh at me.

Ok, so maybe that is just in my head since I am a TAD competitive and slightly a perfectionist. (See, I don’t need yoga!) And for those of you who don’t know me, I am also a little sarcastic.

Me doing yogaAnyway, let me go back to WHY I am starting to incorporate yoga into my life. The whole reason I am starting a yoga practice (which, by the way, I dislike that it’s a “practice” because for my personality type, I want it to have a defined yes/no, up/down, you’re doing it right/wrong, etc) is because I am a long distance runner, and am also in the gym lifting, and have found that my flexibility is…well, not great.

Many people have said that yoga will help and FINALLY, after all the girls at lululemon have yelled at me that I need yoga, I am going to try it.

I am going to do my best to take you along on this upward dog journey to flexibility, mobility, and maybe it will even teach me how to slow my mind…

I am going to share what I am feeling (tough one for me), learning, my thoughts during class (should be fun), and the results as they start to come.

And hopefully it helps someone out there who is in the same position as I am…which is currently Happy Baby. (Such a weird pose…all “open” and stuff.)

So this brings me back to Day One.

Tin man doing yogaI happen to arrive right at 7:00 on the dot…and of course the only spot available was right up front for the whole class to stare in awe of the “Tin-Man” trying to stretch. “AWESOME!” First lesson, newbies, if you want to get a spot in the back, get their early.

Anyway, I’ve got my lululemon mat, lulu shorts, top, towel, I LOOK like a freakin’ PRO YOGI! Hey, “act as if”, right?! So I settle into my spot and am ready to rock class!

The instructor begins to slowly lead us through some of the poses and I begin to struggle through them but am doing “alright”. But in my head I just can’t shake the thoughts of trying to “get it right” as we go through them. I am trying to figure out what the “perfect” pose is for each move we go through. I am looking at the instructor, the people next to me, trying to adjust myself and EVERYONE IS DOING IT DIFFERENTLY from one another.

“WTF? How can I know which one is right? Does my foot go like this; is my hand up, down; are my arms straight, oh, no, they are supposed to be rolled in…or out…”

Yup, this is the chaos going on in the perfectionist mind…who also wants to “beat” the person next me at Yoga! Haha!

“Ok, relax, this is why you’re here, slow your mind…”

About 10 minutes into class I am already dripping sweat…and this is NOT hot yoga!

All I can think is “why am I soaked and struggling with this damn downward dog? I can lift more than the average bear (cub) and my shoulders are already screaming at me!”

We continue to go though the flow of the class and I continue to soak my shirt, shorts and towel, but hey, I am getting through it.

But one of the toughest parts for me, mentally, was the couple times I had to drop to my knees to make things easier at times for a quick little break. I know this is just a modification and I am new, but TO ME, it’s a weakness and I HATE IT! So I force myself to barely get back up.

60 minutes is just about up, we finish with Savasana, (which is just laying there, on your back) and I leave, soaking wet. My head is simultaneously held high in pride that I am starting this new journey to more flexibility, and hung so low due to the, what I feel, D-Minus performance in the classroom.

Can anyone relate to any of these feelings??

Holy hell, this is going to be a weird journey. Get excited to follow along, I will make it as entertaining and informative as possible.

And let me know in the comment below if you’ve been where I am! Nick Harder

Good Luck, Friends!

-Nick

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