Yoga to my husband is the the time he watches the kids and I return happier, lighter and more fun to be around.
For my birthday this week we discussed dinner options and I cautiously mentioned I instead wanted to practice yoga together as I knew it would benefit us both.
"Whatever you want." He easily agreed.
My longtime partner was good at yoga and easily able to pop into handstand and crow, but more importantly the busy businessman was able to slow down and look within. Even though we didn't talk during class, we smiled, he winked once or twice and we were more together than we've been in a long time.
The cherry on top is on the way home I asked if he would write a Guest Post for Ups and Downs of a Yoga Mom and AGAIN he easily agreed and it was emailed to me less than 24 hours later. I hope you appreciate my husband's words below as much as I do.
I owe him something big.
* * *
"Try it, you'll like it. An apt expression from kitchen to studio."
Breathe, stretch, twist.
Thought to self: “Am I doing this correctly?” I sneak a glance to my right; “Whoa, no way am I doing this right.” Another glace to my front; “Well,…maybe…”
This is the second organized yoga class I’ve taken in exactly 6 years. That may sound crazy, as my wife is a yoga enthusiast and certified instructor, but, for whatever reason, I’ve rarely made it to the studio for an actual class. Sure, I’ve done plenty of poses and brief impromptu sessions with my wife, but that’s really not the same.
I entered the room with the same trepidation as any newcomer. I’ve always had good balance, so I knew that wouldn’t be an issue. On the other hand, my tendons seem to be made of rebar (the steel rods you see inside concrete structures), so I knew flexibility would be my challenge. Eyes darting around the room, I size up the class. Some people look like they just threw on something comfortable, and others appear as though they just stepped out of a Lululemon catalog.
“Ok, wide range, maybe I can blend.”
I sit on my mat with my secret weapon, my wife, to my left. I know as long as she’s there, I’m good. Still, I glance around: “Should I be stretching like that other guy? Aren’t we going to be doing that for the next hour anyway?” Fortunately, I don’t have long to ponder this thought as the teacher is ready to start the class.
For the first few minutes, I’m stealing glances to see if I’m doing it right. My leg isn’t as straight, or my arm isn’t as high. I can’t touch the floor, or my back isn’t arched as much. Soon though, my thoughts are replaced with one word:
And that’s really the point, isn’t it? I didn’t come for them, I came for myself (and my wife, but that’s another story). I quickly realized I didn’t care what I looked like. I came to remind my body that there are other forms of exercise than weights and cardio. Besides, there’s not much spirituality in a benchpress or push-up. It was nice to feel the workout on my body, while also calming the mind. In fact, the Sanskrit translation of the word yoga is “to unite”. So it makes sense that I should feel it in both mind and body. By the end of class, I was both physically drained and mentally nourished.
When my wife asked me to write a guest post, I was reluctant. While I support her writing and read her post religiously, it’s really kind of “her thing”. As I began writing, I wasn’t even sure what I wanted to say.
In reflection, I think the point is to recognize that yoga doesn’t have to be daunting or intimidating. It’s not an inferior method of exercise, but a supplemental one. Why not take a class in lieu of the gym? You’re going to get a good workout either way, and yoga helps soothe the mind as well. No one should be too intimidated to try it. Frankly, people in the class couldn’t have cared less what I looked like. Just as I was there for myself, they were there for themselves.
In addition, yoga is a great way for people with certain physical challenges to get exercise without heavy lifting or serious range of motion.
I encourage everyone to at least try a yoga class before dismissing it. One caveat, choose a level 1 class. The last class I went to was way above my head, which may explain the six year gap.
So, will I start going to yoga with my wife regularly? Better stop here….
Click like if you enjoyed this post! Continue the conversation on Facebook here and type your email address in the box below and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.