Yoga: It ain’t no joke

I’m a guy willing to give everything at least one shot.

I’m a guy willing to give everything at least one shot.

That was the mentality I went in with to take my first-ever yoga class last Thursday. I left having a new respect for the flexible and a host of muscles screaming for relief.

Yoga was tough. Real tough. I used to think yoga was simply for those who had a bit more time on their hands then the rest of us. Now I realize they do it because ... well, the rest of us can’t.

In our hour-long yoga session, I watched our instructor do poses and moves with ease. There are some things a 6-foot-3, 250-pound man is not meant to do; after my experience, I’m inclined to think yoga is one of them.

I went in cocky, I’ll admit it. I brought my own yoga mat - how hard could it be?

The answer: you have no idea.

We twisted. We turned. We stretched. We lunged. I cried.

I looked from side to side as others struggled; some were successful, others ... well, not so much.

I fell into the not-so-much category.

When we did the “downward dog” pose, a pose in which you have hands and feet on the mat and your body in a backwards “V”, for what seemed like the 4,500th time, I no longer even aspired to own a puppy. It hurt that much.

The real pain of the pose, however, was observing that everyone, including my wife, was having an easier time with it than I was.

We did the “Warrior One” pose. We did the “Warrior Two” pose. Heck, we even did the “Warrior Three” pose. Not sure what I’m referring to? I guess you’ll have to check it out yourself.

I’ll admit it - I struggled throughout the session. But there were moments, yes, few and far between, where I really felt good; where the poses were working wonders on my body.

You’ll find the typical yoga instructor will tell you to “listen to your body”, regarding your limitations in certain poses. My body was telling me “no, stop you buffoon!” But I’m glad I didn’t listen. Because the reward came near the end.

At the end of the session, we spent about three minutes laying on our backs, simply relaxing. This is where you feel the true benefit of yoga: the total relaxation that comes after physical exertion. And I’ll be the first to tell you - the next day I felt absolutely fantastic.

And guess what? I’m going back. Why? Well, to be honest, it’s for more selfish reasons then simply wanting to improve on my techniques. My wife wants me to. And you know what they say: happy wife, happy life.

Even if it means a few more downward dogs.