This week, I took my very first yoga class. Ever. I will be the first to admit I am absolutely no yoga specialist, I do not speak the lingo, and I have no plans of becoming a certified instructor anytime in the near future [is that what it’s even called?]! But what I DO know, is that I loved my first yoga experience and highly recommend that you get out and try a new fitness class this winter! I’m typically a run on the treadmill, maybe lift a few weights [or drinks to my mouth], sit in the sauna and hope it works some miracles. Getting out of the house and stepping out of my normal element was exactly what I needed, and I didn’t even know it.
Backcountry Silver Fork 750 Down Jacket // Prana Ostara Top // Alo Yoga High-Waist Airlift Legging // Adidas Solar Drive Running Shoe // Adidas VFA Roll Duffel Bag // Hugger Mugger Tapas Original Yoga Mat
Thanks to Backcountry, my eyes have been opened to the number of opportunities there are to try new classes, get outdoors and discover fun areas in my little town [or Iceland]. I finally feel like I can leave the house on a cold winter day and not use the weather as an excuse, because Backcountry has a ton of things to keep me warm and active. The same goes with getting out of the house to go to a fitness class. Yes, you’re going to want light layers for indoors, but if your activity is outside [or your activity is running from the car to the building] you’re going to want some heavier layers- sweatshirt, coat, etc. Backcountry has become my go-to spot for gettin’ my outdoors on, and now thanks to this yoga class, gettin’ my yoga on! [PS if you haven’t shopped Backcountry before, they’re giving my readers a discount. Just use code YELLOW15 for 15% off your first purchase at Backcountry.com!]
Here’s a little more on my first yoga experience…
Backcountry Silver Fork 750 Down Jacket // Alo Yoga High-Waist Airlift Legging // Adidas Solar Drive Running Shoe // Adidas VFA Roll Duffel Bag // Hugger Mugger Tapas Original Yoga MatPrana Ostara Top // Hugger Mugger Tapas Original Yoga Mat
Most of the group had never taken a yoga class before, so our instructor kept everything at a beginner level for us. She did make mention of “for the more advanced” every once in awhile, but you better believe I wasn’t trying to topple over on my first go. To start the class, she walked us through each of the items we’d be using, where to sit/stand, and some basic form. She clearly explained each pose, and over time we were building from one pose to another with a flow that wasn’t too challenging to keep up with. I can only imagine how complicated it probably gets as you get into more advanced classes!
A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
One thing that I loved was how often it was mentioned that this was my experience as an individual, and to stay in tune with what my body needed that day. Basically, the opposite of what I’m used to in a fitness regime- This wasn’t about pushing harder and setting physical records, this was about staying mentally focused, and really focusing on what felt right. Yoga is not a comparison game. It’s all about us as individuals.
Another piece that was brought up a few times was letting go of things- both physical and mental. We were reminded to let go of our worldly stresses- none of which needed to be on our mind in that moment, taking away from our mental focus. She also continued to check in with us about where we were holding tension. Every single time she said it, I was clenching either my jaw, forehead, or behind my eyes. It’s amazing how often I’m doing that, and holding stress there without even realizing that I’m exerting extra energy.
At the beginning of the class, I was feeling tight and quite the opposite of relaxed. The first time we bent over to touch our toes [I know there is an official name for this, but like I said- I don’t know the lingo], there was no chance I was touching those babies. By the end of the class, I was actually able to, and didn’t even have to put much effort into it. My mind was focused on nothing but the class and the movements were happening seemingly on their own, and by the very end of the class, we were laying flat on the ground, and I have may have been so relaxed I pretty much fell asleep. That’s relaxation for ya, folks!
You better believe I grabbed a schedule on the way out. Future yogi, right here! I can completely see the long term benefits of a mind and body class like this, and hey- I should probably start wearing my yoga leggings to more than just the grocery store. If you’re on the edge about getting out there and trying a new class, just do it. Let the instructor know you’re a newbie, and they’ll make sure they drop some helpful hints throughout the class, and keep a close eye on you to make sure what they’re saying is relating.
Have you tried yoga before? Love it, hate it, need to get back into it? Let me know!