I've been to many exercise classes in my life, but I had never been to a yoga class. There was a tiny part of my brain (and it is already tiny itself) that didn't consider yoga exercise. I determine the quality of an exercise class by A) how much I sweat; and B) how hard my heart pounds.
I went to yoga last night at the urging of one of my co-workers. She is also a teammate in "Team Lean" (with a third woman, we are The H-Team, which can stand for "healthy" or "hormonal," whichever one fits at the time), our community's version of The Big Loser. Each registrant paid to join the challenge, with weekly weigh-ins and monetary prizes at the end based on percentage of pounds lost of the entire team, not total number of pounds. If you miss a weigh-in you have to pay $5, and you have to pay $1 for every pound gained at a weigh-in. If you miss three consecutive weigh-ins or four total over the course of the program (it's 12 weeks long), you are disqualified. I joined this program a few years ago and wound up dropping out, disappointing myself and my team members.
I was undecided about last night's exercise options. I wanted to give the new line dance instructor a chance, there was a step-aerobics class I wanted to attend, and there was a spin class. I decided on the line dance class, followed by yoga.
So I gave her a chance. Even after learning last week that I did not like her teaching style in the hip-hop dance class, I thought she might be different in line dancing. Yeah....no. Not only did she do some of the same songs we did but with ENTIRELY DIFFERENT DANCES, when we tried to put the CORRECT steps to the songs, she informed us that "that's not the way they do it in the clubs."
Do I look like I go clubbing?
I know it isn't fair to compare a new instructor to the old one, but this girl has zero line dancing experience. What little instructing she did last night, she did with a piece of paper in her hand. And apparently she couldn't read her own writing, because she had to keep stopping to figure out what the hell to do. So I gave her a chance. I won't have the line dancing dilemma on Monday nights anymore.
Now yoga, that was a different thing altogether.
I couldn't do some of the moves and stretches all the way, but I figure it was at least a start. For example, I cannot stand with my feet apart and put my head on the floor. I'm not sure why ANYONE would want to do that, but our instructor was totally capable of it. She put us through quite a workout, and I was dripping with sweat by the time we finished. She played very calm, soothing music, and although I didn't always understand the terms she used for the different positions, I was able at least to approximate them. I was motivated a little bit by the fact that there was a MAN in our class, and damned if I was going to let him outdo me.
I stretched muscles I didn't even know I had. Driving home afterward, my legs were trembling. It was a good thing I don't drive a stick shift anymore, because I'm not sure I could have operated the clutch. I had a glass of wine when I got home (don't yoga and wine just go together?), but that was okay because it turned out that was my dinner. Well, that and a piece of homemade bread. I slept like a log, but I went to sleep dreading the idea of dragging my sore muscles out of bed this morning.
Surprisingly, I wasn't sore. At least not as sore as I thought I would be. I have a little bit of soreness in my muscles, but it's a GOOD sore, not a painful one, if that makes any sense. It seemed a terrific stress reliever, and I would like to think it's the reason I slept so well, not the glass of wine when I got home. We'll find out next week, since I don't plan to buy any more wine for the duration of Team Lean.
The yoga class I am most interested in (and able to take based on my schedule and capability) is only once a week, and I'm planning to go back next week. And not just for the five minutes at the end where she turns off the lights and we lie there in the dark with the soft music playing. I did NOT go to sleep.
I was afraid I would snore.