I have procrastinated about it for ages but last week I finally took the plunge and went to yogalates. For a long time now I’ve been saying that I needed to start yoga or pilates. My level of sport and fitness may have gone up as I have got older but so has my injury count. I’m sure the main reason for all my minor niggles is a poor warm up routine and a lack of flexibility.
I also suffer from a distinct lack of core strength. Since I stopped going to the climbing wall I really don’t do much upper body work at all. It really would help my overall strength and speed to have a stronger core.
Just Do It
It’s all very well talking about it but for some reason I never went along. Some mental barrier was preventing me from popping to the local leisure centre and joining in. I was nervous that I would be crashing around like a baby elephant whilst elegant swans arched their limbs around me. Worried also that I might be in the wrong kit or be totally unable to follow the exercises.
Having started a running club to take away these barriers from people, I really needed to conquer my own fears.
Finally I ran out of excuses. Some gentle teasing by a colleague coupled with a grey evening, uninspiring for a run, forced my hand. My warm up was a jog to the local Portland Leisure Centre. The staff there are always friendly and helpful and pointed me in the right direction.
One other lady was waiting outside the yogalates room and imagine my relief when I realised I knew her! We humans are funny creatures. Our desire is to team up and feel safe, even in minor situations, for safety. Having asked Sarah all the little questions that had been niggling me I turned to see another nervous face. I wasn’t the only newbie. The other newcomer and I instinctively placed our mats beside each other.
Did I Survive Yogalates?
Yes! Of course I did. Our fears are so often bigger than the reality. That’s not to say it wasn’t hard. My stomach was almost instantly in spasm and my arms and shoulders didn’t know what had hit them. But I didn’t fall off the mat or disgrace myself with a shoddy downward facing dog.
Most of the pain came twenty four hours later, as if my muscles had come out of shock and started to feel again. But even that felt great because I knew I had done something. I had broken my fears and made my body stronger.
And Something Else Happened…
At the end of the class a good five minutes were spent meditating. Our teacher used the same techniques as those in Yoga Nidra app which I use to help me sleep. It was such a wonderful way to end exercise. Calm washed over me (probably along with a little relief) and I felt totally relaxed.
Then we were asked to picture ourselves in a place we were totally happy. My mind went straight to a balcony in Southern India. Sitting with a group of people, watching the most spectacular thunderstorm I had ever seen. For a moment I felt happy before sadness flooded over me. I had been happy in that place but the following months had been traumatic. It was time to leave it behind.
In my mind I switched my happy place to the future. To cycling in Cuba and making new memories. I need more of this calm and reason in my life. Mindfulness and mediation will bring me balance.
Am I Going Again?
It looks as though yogalates has opened new avenues in both mid and body for me. In celebration I have just been to buy yoga socks but I stopped short at the mat for now. I don’t want to stand out too much straight away!