Let me explain– 15 years ago I enrolled in a 1 credit college course called The Fundamentals of Yoga. Why? It was an easy course–one without homework, one you could do hungover and sheer attendance earned you an A.
So naturally, as a corner-cutting 20 year old I was in. Long story short— like so many of my college classes I got an A and didn’t learn a thing.
But that was 15 years ago. Things have changed. The hangovers are fewer. I don’t cut as many corners as I use to. And since I entered the octagon with Sarcoidosis ( Sar-coy-dos-is) two years ago , I been searching for ways to improve my strength so I can better battle my tough to pronounce auto-immune disease.
However, the problem is I’m a man. A stubborn, prideful thing fashioned with a hairy legs and a glass ego. For years I stayed in shape by lifting weights, running up hills, tossing cinder blocks, carrying old ladies across the street and punching slabs of beef in a South Philadelphia meat locker. But time and circumstance have taken their toll on my body. And I humbly hang my head, except my frailty and announce, “ I can’t do those things anymore.”
On Saturday, after much mulling, after asking Siri, “Would you consider me less of a man if I tried yoga?” ( She doesn’t!) and after Googling, “Do men have to wear yoga pants to yoga class?” ( They don’t!) I checked my male ego in at the lavender scented lobby of the Prancing Peacock yoga studio.
And guess what?
I really enjoyed yoga class. It relaxed me, challenged me and that lavender scent (which blanketed the entire studio) is to die for! I enjoyed yoga so much that I’m planning on going again and if you ( male or female reader) haven’t tried yoga you should and I would like to offer you 3 reasons why…
- It’s quiet.
Adulthood is noisy. I’m finding it harder and harder to find as the old folks say, “a moment’s peace.” That’s why sometimes I take the long way home from work or why I love the solitary art of showering. Yoga is a quiet experience. An hour of quietness. Sound nice? I don’t know about you dear reader but at 35 I’m really beginning to treasure quietness.
- It’s a workout.
Yoga is not easy. It’s was a lot harder than I thought. I began sweating about 10 minutes into class. About 30 minutes into the workout I was in full sweat mode. ( BTW…this was the beginners class.) Yoga is all about body control and working at your own pace. It’s just you trying to control yourself. And as we know– self control can be a serious workout.
3. It’s a great stress reliever.
Along with being noisy, adulthood is crazy stressful. The kids, commitments, responsibilities, the fleeting nature of time, the abandoned dreams etc. etc. etc.. In yoga you attempt to let go of the past and enter the present. Yoga is a calming and empowering experience. Which, as I get older, I’m finding these experiences are harder to come by. Furthermore, yoga emphasizes the simple act of breathing. Breathing–something adults don’t do particularly well. We always seem to be holding our breaths, bottling it all up inside and waiting, hoping for better days to exhale.