Stretching It

As I sit here writing this post there’s a good chance I won’t be able to get out of my chair when I’m done. You see, I tried a new exercise class today.

The new class I took today was completely different from my typical exercise routine. And when I say completely different, I mean COMPLETELY different.

For me, exercise has always been something that is fast, involves sweating, and has a time component.

My friend Liza invited me to her Yin Yoga class in the Mind Body Studio.

Just the words, “Mind Body Studio,” make my eyes roll.

But I tried to be open about the entire thing. After all, anything to help me get to my goal is worth a try.

Liza teaches the class so she gave me a synopsis of it. “The concept is to stretch your connective tissue by holding stretches for 4 minutes. In turn, the connective tissue responds by growing back longer and juicier giving more fluidity in the joints, more range of motion, more comfort in your body, and less injuries.”

Um, that’s nice but where is the part that says I will be able to fit into my shorts by June?

She also mentioned, “No experience is necessary. It has an awesome benefit of really grounding you and melting stress.”

Grounding me? I don’t know about this. It’s already sounding a little hare krishna-ish to me.

I did an initial walk by of the studio, casually strolling by and trying to peek into the room without being obvious. (Don’t judge, you know you case out new joints too). The lights were off and I could see three people sitting on the ground.

The second trip by I took a deep breath and opened the door. I made a deal with myself though. If there was any humming or chanting I could be out of there before you can say, “Dalai Lama.”

The studio was dark except for a closet light. I quickly found a space towards the back of the room and gathered the necessary equipment. I had 2 mats, a foam roller, and 2 blocks of foam. I was just sure Liza would distribute the stop watches when she arrived.

Class started by Liza guiding us into a stretch which had the lower half of my legs lying on the floor while I held the rest of my body up on the foam blocks.  Initially, I felt awkward and out of place. A few moves later though and I was feeling fairly confident I would be able to finish the class.

I was holding my own and quite proud of myself when I noticed Elastigirl. She was practically performing a Cirque de Soleil number next to me as I was struggling to touch my toes. Liza noticed Elastigirl too and gave her more challenging stretches that would have put me in traction.

Throughout the class, Liza would direct us to, “appreciate your body.” Holding a stretch for four minutes certainly gave me enough time to be thankful for my strength.

As I was holding one of my stretches I noticed I was the only one not wearing spandex. I don’t know about you but if I’m supposed to be appreciating my body I certainly don’t think being in a jump suit of spandex and standing in front of a 4 way mirror is the way to do it. My baggy shorts and t-shirt let me appreciate my body just fine.

As the class came to a close, Liza asked everyone to lay on the ground, close their eyes, and breath for five minutes. “Connect with your body.”

I kept my eyes closed for approximately 20 seconds because frankly I had been connecting with my body for the last seventy minutes and really wanted something to eat. As I peeked around the room the other class participants somehow managed to keep their eyes closed.

All in all, the class was a good experience for me. I tried something new and was pretty successful. I think I may go again next week….that is if I can get out of my chair.

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