A Yogi I am Not

I am now done with my 30 day unlimited pass at Radiance Yoga in Old Town. I went to six different types of classes. I can now say for certain that yoga is not my thing.

Right out of the gate, I hurt my shoulder. I have compromised shoulders that easily develop impingements. A year ago I was in physical therapy for nearly three months because it got so bad that I could no longer reach around my back to unhook my bra. Really, I should have seen a professional before that, but I am fairly stubborn. I have been very careful and was taught how to lift without aggravating it, so I was surprised when after just two yoga sessions I was feeling the familiar can’t-lift-my-arm-like-that pain. I think it was those damn downward facing dog things. The rest of the yoga classes I went to were all “gentle” and “restorative” ones.

I enjoyed parts of the classes, but only parts of them. Often I found myself thinking “is this going to be over soon” or “how much more ’til I’m done?” I know that trying to calm or redirect a wandering mind is supposed to be part of the experience, but this was much more than just that. I just was not enjoying myself. There were two distinct times that I did enjoy it and both times involved the instructor actually touching me. One time she physically assisted a stretch and the other time was during the ending shavasana when the instructor firmly pressed on each person’s shoulders and scalp.

But there is another kind of yoga that I do like. The official name of it is Let Your Yoga Dance, but a better name might be Meditation in Motion or Sacred Heart Movement. For me it is more like a dance class with its theory rooted in yoga. There are some poses, a little bit of chakra work, but most of it is a combination of guided dance and free dance. My friend Cheryl teaches it once a month at a church space and the cost is simply a donation to the church’s food pantry. Can’t beat that! If you are local to me, you really should try it – second Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m. While I have a background in dance, you absolutely don’t need one. You just need a free spirit and a desire to move with the music. I have gotten some of my best ever aerobic workouts here and it’s effortless because it is so enjoyable. I do love to dance – in a class, at a club, in my living room!

So yoga is out. Dance is in. I need to find more ways to dance this year.

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