The Yoga Experiment

In an effort to find something that would help both my physical and mental well-being, I bought a living social voucher for a month of yoga classes at Charm City Yoga during the month of August. I had never done yoga before and I always heard it was great exercise as well as an excellent way to relieve stress, so I decided why not give it a try? With work at my job picking up to the point that I’m working 10-13 hour days in addition to hours on the weekend, keeping a schedule for the gym has become so impossible that I cancelled my membership for the time being. There’s also the stress relief factor—trust me, I have a lot of stress working for an election office when the Presidential election is right around the corner—so I gave it a shot.

I have to admit my first introduction to the practice of yoga was not as impressive as I thought it would be. I went to my first class with my best friend and discovered that the regular teacher for our class was out due to a leg injury she had sustained while hiking, so they had a substitute. I had trouble taking the class seriously, I have to admit. My best friend had done yoga before and informed me that her teaching style was highly unusual and she didn’t like it. At the time I didn’t think she was an essentially bad teacher, but then I came back when the regular teacher was there.

A completely different experience; from the moment I walked in.

There was a calming soundtrack playing in the background, it sounded like that soothing sort of music that you would hear while getting a massage at a spa. The music was a calming sort of chanting, and when I closed my eyes I imagined I was in some beautiful exotic land. It did wonders for the yoga experience. The sub I had previously played no music, and you could hear every little noise outside—not a good thing when the yoga studio is directly across the street from the fire station, let me tell you. I could not get into what I was doing nearly as well without the music playing and being able to hear numerous sirens and whatever idiot was wandering around in front of the studio trying their hardest to peek in the windows through the privacy curtains to see what we are doing. The music was a clear improvement to this instructor’s style. It shut out the outside world and made me feel like I was truly somewhere else.

Instead of focusing so much on stretching and immediately jumping into working different muscles, the first ten minutes or so focused on relaxing and loosening up, but more importantly: breathing. The sub had talked about the importance of the breathing, but it didn’t really seem to hit home until this other teacher had us lie down, relax and just breathe. It had a meditative quality to it which I never really realized existed in yoga.

My second class left me feeling much better. I won’t lie to you, yoga is a real workout. You will have to hold poses and positions for amounts of time that are excruciating and seem impossible.

But isn’t that also essentially what it’s like to be a model?

Oh my god, I think we’ve come full circle.

With the election fast approaching and my free time non-existent; I haven’t been able to keep a solid schedule but once the election is over I think I may go back to yoga. The basic class seems good for me, and as much of a workout as it can be, it has also left me feeling refreshed and re-invigorated after the stress of the day. If nothing else, I think everyone could use this sort of escape.

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