I signed up this week for a year long membership to the yoga studio that I have been flirting with on and off for the last year. It is a vinyasa yoga studio and the classes are hard. The teachers do seem to be very focused on getting you to a place where you can do the advanced yoga postures, like this one with ease. At first this bothered me quite a lot, since I was used a more basic fitness version of yoga. I’d been taking a lot of hatha yoga and kundulini, which is the opposite sort of yoga to vinyasa, which is as much about aerobics as strength training. Vinyasa yoga is fast. In hatha and kundulini, you hold poses much longer, so you have more time to get into the form and focus on perfecting them. If you come to the perspective that the physical practice of yoga is a dance, then not having time to perfect the movement and not having mirrors to check your alignment is a little disturbing and took some mental flexibility on my part.
But I kept going back, mostly because a friend had a membership there and I liked the idea of having an exercise buddy. That largely hasn’t actually worked out due to geography and time, but it gave me the push I needed in order to actually get back in the habit of having a night that I went to yoga. I need schedules in order for my life to work, so having it pre-slotted into my weekly schedule makes it much more likely that I will actually go. For three months, I’ve been doing a very good job of making my Thursday night class. It was proof enough to myself that I could keep it up and, to make the membership pay off, add another class in to the schedule.
There was a time when working out was a really important focus in my life. I was most into it during the time between the end of my previous romantic relationship and when I met my husband, but as long as I lived alone, there was rarely a day in which I wasn’t somewhere in the constant rotation of strength training, cardio training and rest days. I did a lot of running (or, more honestly, jogging) and weights and yoga. I was running about 15 miles a week. When my husband moved in with me, I started to find it more difficult to schedule these things, because I had the added obligation to my schedule of being home each night at a set time to have dinner with him. The choice was easy; I was going to eat with him and give up the exercise.
When my brother joined our lives, it became even harder to find time, because I was spending each evening supervising the doing (and the not doing) of homework. Now that he’s nearly out of the nest, I’m finding that I have more time to take care of myself. And now that my fitness levels have started to return to what they were before the decline of the last few years, I find that I want to work on learning how to do those advanced inversions. But maybe that’s just the blood flowing to my head.