I had been going to the gym for several months, and throughout my time there I had made a friend with an older man named Tommy. He was super into fitness and not just in the gym; he did kick boxing, jujitsu, palates, all of that. So, when he asked me to attend a power yoga class, I was weary. I mean, it sounded pretty intense and I’m almost 6-foot-tall, so I just felt like I had a lot of…body to try to throw it in the air and stuff. Nonetheless, I agreed to the new experience and power yoga ended up being one of the best things I’ve ever done.
We got there around 7pm and I was kind of intimidated. It was a large class, and everyone seemed to be familiar with each other, so I figured they’d all been doing power yoga for a while. We started off on yoga mats, which they provided if you didn’t have your own, and they instructed us to take off our shoes. We did a few breathing exercises to begin the routine and she told us to close our eyes and go to our happy place. We did that for about 10 minutes, and then the more challenging poses came.
Throughout the class, the poses we were given proved to be super hard for me. I wasn’t used to stretching my body on that magnitude and to hold them for minutes at a time was almost impossible. When looking around at others though, I noticed nobody was looking at me. Everyone was so focused on their own pose being successful, that there was no time for judgement. That helped me to get back to my “happy place” and continue to try. By the end of the class, I was sweating like I had never sweat before. My hair was drenched as if I had just gotten out of a pool! Afterwards, we were given slices of oranges to cool us down.
The Physical Feeling
Leaving the yoga studio, my body weight felt so light. My head almost hurt from being so light, but in a good way. Like, if you’ve ever taken a detox bath it’s the same kind of feeling. You can feel the toxins leaving your body. My heart rate was slowed to a regular pace, which was a great sign for me because I sometimes struggle with my body over-heating and my heart rate going up. I also have severe asthma, and my lung area felt so stretched out, as if I had created more room for be to breathe. I popped my neck and back in ways that I had been needing to for weeks. My cheeks were bright red, but my skin looked so vibrant at the same time. It was truly the best I felt after a workout, ever in my life.
The Mental Feeling
The physical feeling was one thing, but what power yoga did to my mind was a whole other thing. I am a person who worries a lot about time and running out of it. Therefore, I try to do everything at once all the time and usually place myself under a lot of pressure. Power yoga gave me something singular to focus on. Holding a pose requires a lot of breathing control and extreme focus, so you have to put one thing in your mind and stay there. You have to have control of your mind and that is something I aim to master in this life. If you can control your mind and the way you think, you can change the way you act and the way you perceive things. I looked at it like, if I could focus on this one pose for x amount of time, I should be able to do the same thing with my daily tasks.