Yoga, Stress Relief and Me

My friend Leah invited my daughter and me to a yoga class during Christmas break. The kids were out of school for two weeks and I was off. I have tried yoga several times on my own and had decided that it was not for me. I could not get the poses, the tapes I watched went to fast, and I did not feel any benefit. I never attended a class because all of the classes in my area were scheduled at times only non-working people could attend. So when Leah invited us, I initially thought “hmm, that’s nice.” “It sounds interesting.” Then I thought “what the heck, I’m in!” When I mentioned it to my daughter, she was fired up and ready to go.
Now, you have to know my friend Leah. She began her “sell” before I could answer her. “It’s only $5.00.” “How can you beat that?” “It’s the beginners’ class.” “We fall over and it’s no big deal.” “We talk and laugh through the whole class.” “It will be fun.” She could have saved her breath; we were already sold.
On December 21, 2015, my daughter and I went to our first in-person yoga class. Leah was right, it was so much fun. We all completed the poses to the best of our abilities. We laughed at ourselves and with each other. None of us laughed at the others. The instructor went slowly, explaining the moves, providing alternative moves and checking for needed adjustments. We wobbled, raised the wrong legs, and held onto the wall as needed. We groaned, admired the youngsters and surprised ourselves with our own flexibility. The class was an hour of no pressure, if it hurts stop, and let the tension evaporate.
I have attended yoga class with different instructors since that inaugural class. Each instructor has a unique style and personality. My favorite is Dustin with his lithe, agile movements and quiet nature. Dustin loves the downward dog pose. Once he took us through what seemed to be a flow that included at least 100 downward dogs. He called out the pose and after hearing us groan, he simply said “get there the best way you can.”
I tried Muhling’s aerial yoga class. I tried it after learning an 80 year old woman attends the class. My poses were far from perfect, but trying made me feel really good and free. Muhling also has a quiet, peaceful spirit. She believes you can do it and makes you feel the same way.
Yoga is a fabulous stress reliever. As you gently stretch your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints, the stretching releases tension. You learn to breathe slowly and deeply and encouraged to focus on the present. This results in a calm, relaxed feeling.
Yoga also has physical benefits. Yoga practice builds, muscle and strength. It improves balance as well. It also improves posture which affects our ability to release tension in our neck and shoulders. Improved posture also benefits deep breathing.
I encourage you to find a yoga class that fits within your schedule and try it out. Share your experiences. In the meantime take good care and peace.

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I am having a conversation about stress and stress relief @MarcylineB #RelaxinNBwkGA

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