Wednesday, August 29, 2012

That's What It's All About

I grew up in the seventies.  I remember hearing about this new craze that seemed to be drawing the free-spirited, incense-burning, in-tune-with-the-universe type to dimly lit rooms with mats and twisted poses.  I didn't understand what it really was.  I think I believed it was more about meditation than fitness; more about the spiritual than the physical; more about the hippie generation than about down-to-earth health seekers.

I didn't understand Yoga at all.

Yoga is delightful and deserves a place in everyone's life.  It is about becoming in tune with your body and creating a dialogue between one's physical and spiritual beings, creating awareness and unity.

Yoga is about becoming strong without having to lift a single bar bell, using one's own body as very adequate resistence.  It is about achieving overall fitness in a peaceful, tranquil environment.  No grunting, sweaty men strutting around, flexing their muscles and dropping weights. No plastic barbie dolls in lycra drawing attention to themselves.

This is fitness for the introspective.  This is a regimen for those seeking true health; striving for well-rounded wellness of body, of mind, of spirit.

And I like it.

Not only do we isolate groups of muscles to strengthen them, but built into every workout is improved breath control, oxygenating the body, sufficient stretching and toning to reduce post-workout pain and stiffness.  Each session also ends with a relaxation and wind-down portion.  This allows one to catch their breath, remember why they are there, and rejoice in a renewed frame of mind and an invigorated body.

This is about wholeness.

And I adore my yoga instructor.  She is elegantly graceful.  Her lithe limbs and gentle nature are lovely and inspiring.  Her self-assured spirit invites an uplifting experience as she seductively leads her class to reach farther, gain more, do more, and try harder than they ever thought they were capable of doing.  She encourages us to live more purposefully as she radiates love and motivation.

Yoga has inspired me to envision the future me in a whole, new way.  I now see an able-bodied older woman with deceptive strength and flexibility who is warding off the signs of aging.  I will have energy, balance, and surprising tone in my muscles and my skin, standing straight and tall as the well-adjusted, confident, graceful old woman that yoga has enabled me to become.

And That's what it's all about!


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