Jenny and I just completed our second go-around in an intro Yoga class. I don’t think I’m ever going to make it beyond the intro class, but that’s okay. I was just looking for some stretching exercises that might help with my riding and Yoga had been recommended to me more than once.
Our instructor’s name was Joy. Well, of course it was. And she looked and sounded like someone named Joy. Which meant she was hard to hear.
Joy’s voice was very soft and soothing and had a hint of a southern drawl and I couldn’t understand half of what she said. So I had to modify all my Yoga positions by turning my head to the center of the room to see what the hell she wanted us to do.
Yoga is complex. It includes murky terminology such as left & right and up & down. Not that these are difficult concepts, it’s just a matter of degree. As in how far up or how far left. There were times when I glanced at what Joy was doing and the girl looked like a pretzel. I can’t do that.
The key is to focus on your breathing, get your mind to stop running in its usual dog-chasing-tail circles and to listen to your body. Which, due to how some of these exercises work to release tension in the body, sometimes meant the emanation of actual sounds. But this was a sophisticated group we were in and nobody laughed.
Yoga does relax you. Jenny caught me snoring more than once. Especially at the end of the session when we all laid still on our mats, listening to Deuter and thanking our bodies for not dying during class. I told Jenny the snoring was a gesture of respect to our instructor.
I think in order to do it properly, you have to learn to focus. Which is obviously a good thing for horseback riding too. Focus, balance, and strength: The Triad of Equestrian Excellence. I believe Yoga can help develop all of it. So while I don’t plan to take any more classes, I do want to keep working on it on my own.
While I may never be like Joy and learn to how to get my body to flow like a wet noodle with a purpose or discover my Buddha Nature, I can certainly make an improvement.
I’ll let you know how it goes.