Surrender, surrender, but don’t give yourself away…
Surrender by Cheap Trick came on the radio tonight right after I got out of my first ever power yoga class. Even though the actual song has different meanings, I felt these particular lyrics were fitting to my mood.
Said mood was acquired because the class was just incredible. I felt like a got a really fantastic workout, even though I didn’t run a jillion miles or lift 1000 lbs. I never got out of breath because the whole time you are breathing deep and slow, and yet you can feel the incredible burn building in your muscles.
Even better than the physical aspect (which is hard to beat as it is), is the “spiritual” aspect. Now, I’m not a particularly spiritual person these days. I have my beliefs and my disbeliefs. And I’m not saying yoga is the answer to life, the universe, and everything (the answer is 42, you know). But I could definitely see how using the physical side of yoga can bring about a mental, emotional, and spiritual balance in yourself.
The instructor continually emphasized accepting what your body can and cannot do, and understanding that each variation on a position is just as lovely and wonderful as the next one. Though, surprisingly I might add, I was in fact able to do most of the positions myself, it felt great to hear her encouragement to not push yourself too hard, but just do what feels best.
Not only that, but the music, the warm air, the deep breathing, and especially the concentration required to follow the pattern set out by the instructor all combined to really strip away the chatter in my mind. I felt much more aware and awake but also at peace, without my typical constant inner babbling once I left the studio. Whether or not you apply spiritual or religious terms to such feelings, there is no denying they are pleasant and relaxing.
This experience reminded me of an article I read a few weeks back which I found incredibly inspiring:
This woman has seen countless amazing things in her life, both devastating (working for the resistance in WWII France) and uplifting, and through it all she has practiced yoga. And not only does she continue to teach it and practice it herself, at her age!, she also participates in such things as a 17-dance competitive ballroom dancing event. I am completely in awe of this woman and her life.
Even as I sit here on the floor of my apartment, typing at my desktop computer which is also on the floor, I feel the compelling desire to sit up straighter, where I would usually prefer to just slouch. I can’t believe how much good just one class seems to have done me. And I have a whole month ahead of me, already paid for, to look forward to. One thing’s for sure, my muscles are going to be sore in the morning!