A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

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Monday, February 29, 2016

Glow Yoga

This past Friday night my gym was offering a “Glow Yoga” event. The purpose being to wear white or neon clothing, possible glow-in-the-dark body paint, and those little chemically glowing wrist bands, and light up in a dark room under black lights while doing Yoga poses.

It looks like this:

Gimmicky? Well, yes. But also very fun! I believe they intend to offer Glow Yoga once per month on the schedule moving forward, and I plan to attend again. I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed the idea, because the class was totally full.

This session was a good deal harder than the beginner’s class I’ve been attending once per week. It was assumed that we knew the names of the poses (and I do know some of them now, fortunately) and how to get into and out of them quickly and correctly. I benefitted a lot from having a skilled student right in front of me who I could look at and try to copy, who was also nice enough to offer some quiet suggestions (yoga people are seriously a very helpful group of folk).

I’m growing stronger, so moving from plank position and down to the ground slowly without falling is a lot more possible for me. I can also hang out in downward dog position without shaking now, and do a series of moves that require the upper body strength to support my own weight quickly a number of times and not fall to the mat too much. I’ve never worked up such a sweat during Yoga before, it was really active!

My problem now is mostly my girth getting in the way. I have a good deal of natural flexibility, but anything that requires your thigh to touch your torso just isn’t possible for me because there’s just too much thigh fat and hanging belly skin/fat getting in my way. You’re supposed to be able to put your hands on the ground with your legs stretched behind you, then jump your feet to where your hands are. I think I’ve got the strength required to do it, but my body is just too unwieldy in shape for it to be possible. That’s frustrating.

Although I'm smaller than I was, I'm still the biggest person I see doing Yoga at my gym. I'm trying hard not to view my being biggest as a badge of dishonor or to simply ignore the fact because I KNOW it does not matter and nobody cares, but the lifetime of social conditioning that's told me to be ashamed of it is hard to undo and ignore.

I also encountered my first handstand, called crow. It’s supposed to look like this:

It starts with dropping down into a squat and at first I just stood there looking around while the rest of the class did so, thinking my knees wouldn’t tolerate a squat position. As everyone else then started doing handstands I finally got myself into a squat, being pleasantly surprised that I could do so a lot more easily than I thought I’d be able to. Then I just kept testing my weight on my forearms, gently, over and over as much as I could. My forearms firmly responded, “no” to my request that they support my entire body weight. So I’ve definitely got something to work toward there.

I’ve decided to switch to the harder class on my regular schedule. I liked being so challenged, and I liked working up a sweat. Two days later my muscles were still pretty sore, so I can tell it’s going to do me a lot of good.

And I’ve still got a long way to go.

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