Today is the last day of my unlimited yoga membership. Because the weather is getting nicer and I already pay for a gym membership + the fact that I am most likely going to be a lot busier at work soon, I decided not to keep doing a monthly unlimited membership. I still really really want to try and keep up my yoga practice because I have seen so many changes since I started it.
While yoga was never the only thing that I did, I noticed that I got a lot stronger and a lot more flexible over the course of the last 6 months or so. Granted, I am still not great at yoga by any means, but I am much better than when I started and that is the thing that I love about yoga. There really is no judgment, you just go in and do the best you can do. If you have a crappy practice, no worries, there is always next time. Some days I would go and just would not be in the mood to push myself—so I wouldn’t. Other days, I would. Little by little, I started to see progress in my flexibility and strength in the new poses I was able to do.
I noticed that it is really hard for me not to compare myself to other people in the class. I would see someone in crow and wonder why I couldn’t do crow (I actually still can’t, but I think it has more to do with my hips being completely inflexible STILL rather than my actual strength). As my time in yoga went on, I noticed that I was really able to let go of that and not worry what anyone else was doing—just focus on me and what I am capable of. Plus, I liked going in as a beginner because it showed me the possibilities of what I could do once I got better. As frustrating as it sometimes was, it also caused me to work a lot harder.
Remember this post when I said I wanted to be able to do sidecrow?
Well I can! ….For a second at least.
One of the main poses that really really frustrated me was wheel. It seemed like everyone could do wheel except for me and I just didn’t know why I couldn’t because it doesn’t seem like a super hard pose. I felt like I had enough arm strength but every time I tried, I just could not push myself up into it. One yoga instructor told me that one day it would just come and I would be surprised how easy it was. So each and every class, I would at least try to push up into wheel before grudgingly doing bridge. And then one day (not too long ago), I tried to push up into wheel like usual, not expecting much and all the sudden I was upside down! It really did just happen and it felt so easy. Things like that really inspire me to work harder in yoga, because I really can see the progress that I’m making.
Same goes with running—and this goes back to my cross country days—when I see the times improving, as they are bound to do after awhile, it makes all the effort worth it.
Point of this post? I don’t really know! I just thought it was a good chance to reflect with my yoga time coming to an ‘end’. Even though I still want to keep up my practice–I probably just won’t be going as often. For anyone weary of yoga, give it a try! You might be surprised. I avoided yoga for so long because I thought I wasn’t flexible enough to do it, but once I got there I realized that flexibility doesn’t matter at all. The point isn’t to be flexible or be the best yogi in the class, but to continue to work on your own goals on your own mat. As one instructor said, it is called a yoga ‘practice’ for a reason, because no one should expect perfection from themselves.
All in all, I had a great experience with yoga—and for any of you in Chicago, the studio I went to and had a monthly unlimited is Power Yoga Chicago. It is a newer studio and I really love it and most of the teachers there. It is a lot cheaper than most other yoga studios and a little more ‘no frills’, but I would prefer that to paying more for sure.
In other workout news, my mom bought me the below Lululemon knock off from Costco! For $5.97! It literally is almost identical to the cool racerback–and I think the Costco version is actually a little longer! I’m hoping to pick up a few more. I just learned that when Costco prices end in a .97, they are close out items and they won’t have them again (I hope I got that number right). So if you want one, go get it now!
Have a great weekend, see you Sunday!