This year I started taking yoga classes again as a part of my not really resolutions list for 2013 when it comes to taking better care of me. I did it before I got pregnant and then stopped during my pregnancy because I had so many appointments that it just got too much for me.
The yoga class is on Monday nights and so yesterday I was there again. I tend to be very tensed up and when the class is finished I really feel so much better physically from all the stretching and the relaxation. I did a lot of sports when I was younger and while I am not as flexible as I used to be I am still in good shape and can do most of the asanas (this is how the exercises are called) in a decent way.
What is much more difficult for me is the mental aspect of yoga, of letting it all go. We are supposed to do the asanas with eyes closed and this is already so challenging for me. The teacher talks us through the asanas so that there is no need to open my eyes and see what I have to do but I am still tempted to look around. I find it hard to not do that and sometimes I really have to concentrate to keep them closed. We also do a lot of breathing exercises where we breathe deeply while we concentrate on where in our body the breath goes. Sometimes I am in the flow and can trace the breath from my fontanelle to the tailbone and back (yes, this was one of the exercises we did yesterday) but very often my mind is racing. It feels like it is stuck in fifth gear and while I am supposed of letting it all go I think of Sunny, my husband, my everyday life, school and kindergarten, the chores I have to do tomorrow, what to cook, what I forgot to do, whom to call, my blog, this blog post, friends, family.... anything that comes to my mind. I try to stop in my tracks and concentrate not to concentrate on all that stuff but it is really not easy.
I wish I could be able to switch off my racing mind for these 90 minutes and just be. But the daily grind has me in its claws and sometimes it is just impossible for me to escape. I am relaxed when I come home and I certainly shifted down a gear or two, but I could still do so much better.
However, I really enjoy that part of yoga because I am requested to refocus - or maybe even de-focus on nothing but just my breath, my body and how I feel. We are so overwhelmed from all the information and media and sounds and whatnot that lash down on us all day that we have forgotten how to turn our senses off and just be. And I hope I will become better at fading all that out and return to my inner self in order to be rejuvenated again afterwards.
You know what the best part of the session is (I think all of us participants agree on that, tee hee)? The last 15-20 minutes are reserved for meditation. The teacher dims the lights; we all slip under our blankets, wrap ourselves up in them and are supposed to imagine a landscape, for example. Yesterday it was an island in the middle of a lake. And you can bet all the change in your pocket that after two minutes the first member of the class will start snoring. ;-) I always fall asleep, too, and normally am the last to wake up. All the others are already standing on their mats again and doing some exercises to refresh them after the "meditation" (aka nap) until I realise that I should have gotten up already and that I really fell asleep. This is always a bit embarrassing for me but who cares?