Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Yoga Resumed

During the year that I lived in Oxford, I began taking yoga classes. I'd read/study/write all day, and then take a yoga class two or three times a week, before my evening classes at Ole Miss began. I loved it. First of all, it got out all the stiffness and kinks I'd acquired from a day of study, which was nice. But it also really got rid of stress. For an hour, I didn't think about anything that I needed to do, had to do, should do, ought to do . . you know the drill. And I was getting stronger (which surprised me, because I already ran/power walked and lifted weights, but yoga was really making a difference in my body--both the way it felt and the way it looked), and I was much more limber.

Well, the classes ended and I moved back home and spent a year studying for comps and writing my dissertation. In other words, I spent a year sitting on my butt. I kept up my morning exercise routine but not the late afternoon yoga. And I missed it.

Last semester, I tried taking some classes here in town, but the times were inconvenient and the classes just didn't measure up to those I'd taken before. I always left disappointed. So, I finally contacted a friend at Ole Miss who teaches yoga and asked for suggestions.

Her first suggestion was to create a personal space for practice. It didn't have to be huge or fancy, just private, spacious, comfortable, and readily available. This seems like such a simple suggestion, but I can't say enough how helpful it was. I often thought about doing yoga at home, but I rarely did because I didn't really have a convenient spot and didn't feel like bothering to clear away one.

We have an extra bedroom that had become a sort of leaving-grounds for things the kids brought into the house on their temporary stays but didn't bother to take with them to their new homes. So, I devoted an hour or so one morning to cleaning out that bedroom. I threw away things, hauled away things, and stored things until the room was bare of everything but basic furniture. This left a wide bare spot in the middle of the carpeted room for my sticky mat. I placed a small table against the wall to hold a candle, and underneath it I placed my yoga videos and straps. I also arranged a convenient spot to place my laptop to play soft music or a video.

I've been amazed at what a difference this makes. I've practiced almost every day since I've set up my yoga space. Now, all I have to do is walk upstairs and I'm ready to practice.

More about yoga tomorrow.

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