Heart, Mind, & Body

The Yoga High

Newsflash: I have taken up yoga. This is a strange, new, and wonderful venture for me. I have always been anti yoga, as in I’m not against it, but I am just not a yoga girl. Or wasn’t, anyways. I preferred action sports that gave me an adrenaline rush and possibly allowed me to tackle someone, in a fair and loving way, of course. 😉 The first time I ever tried yoga was between my freshman and sophomore year of college. I went up to Raleigh to visit a friend, and she took me to my first ever yoga class. And boy, was it a doozy. It was an advanced class with all the really intense and cool looking moves you picture when you hear the word yoga. The room was filled with women in their 30s and 40s who were obvious pros based on their finesse and flexibility. There I was, a very in-shape and strong (and I must add prideful) 19 year old, and I was determined to keep up with those ladies. After the first ten minutes I was convulsively shaking. But could I hold the bottom of my foot straight out in front of me and rotate it 90 degrees to the right side? Yes- I could! And I WOULD! So I did, shaking and quaking, and missing the whole point of yoga by trying to compete. And I tore my right hip flexor… Yeah, that was a long recovery, and it occasionally still bothers me. So I stayed away from yoga for a long time. Fast forward to this month, and my friend here in our new hometown is big in to yoga. I have to admit that I was pretty nervous. Definitely hesitant to try it again. I’m such a chicken. I’m also very out of shape after having two kids and losing most of my muscle strength. But the hubby said he would go that Sunday since my mom was in town to watch the kids, so… double date at yoga class!

OH MY GOSH—- it was a hot yoga strength class with emphasis on the breathing. I entered another world that day! I was in the ZONE. I created a mantra. Breathe in “I am me”, breathe out “ohhhh yeah.” Breathe in “I am me,” breathe out “ohhhh yeah.” I felt like I totally reconnected with myself and my body and just enjoyed being me in the present moment. By the end my head was tingling like crazy. I couldn’t feel my hands. Is that normal??? I have no idea! I felt like I was floating for about an hour after. Perhaps I got high on oxygen from so much inhaling. My second class produced tingly hands. They were so fumbly that I texted my husband F U afterwards- oops!

And today I just finished my third class. This time I drove home in a sweaty daze with occasional car thoughts flitting into my mind like “Do I have enough gas?” Lovely colors and trees consumed me. “Wait, is this my exit?! Veer right!” Just kidding, it was more like a slow and fluid yoga exit, “Passengerssssss, we are now exitiiiiiiing.” Oh yeah, I’m digging this yoga thing. I highly recommend it. But what’s so awesome, is that on top of making me feel good, stretched, and strengthened, I feel like it is washing away negative thoughts about myself and opening me up to receive positive encouragement. At the end of my drive home, the lyrics of a Steven Curtis Chapman song pierced through the fog in my brain and intensely touched my soul.

“This is what I’m sure of, I can only show love
When I really know how loved I am
When it over takes me, then it animates me
Flowing from my heart into my hands

So I’m praying, Father, help my heart believe
That right now You’re singing over me
And fill me up with Your love

Let your never-ending, never-failing, all-consuming love
Take over me”

“Love Take Me Over”, By Steven Curtis Chapman

Whew! That was good stuff! I pulled up to our house refreshed and ready to love my kids and husband. Yoga, we are friends now. 🙂

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