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Friday, August 05, 2005


Okay, so last night was my first yoga class. I was there 15 minutes early trying to scope out the place and stake out a spot where I would not be too conspicuous. I settled my mat behind two other mats that had been set up, thinking that the middle of the room was a good spot to blend in. A few minutes later the rest of the students walk into the Fitness Room. There were about 10 other ladies in the class. Most of them seemed older than me, although there were 2 ladies who looked my age. Some of them appeared to be not too "physically fit" either. I was slightly relieved. I was totally worried about joining a class where everyone would be built like Barbie dolls and be yoga experts.

The instructor, Charlene, walked in exactly at 6:30 and immediately dimmed the lights and popped a CD into the stereo. She then laid out her mat directly next to mine. Apparently she taught the class from the middle of the room - so everyone could see her better. So much for my inconspicuous spot. Now that I was beside the instructor - everyone would be looking my way! Sheesh - talk about pressure!

The music started and we did some light stretching exercises. I managed to somehow act graceful and limber. At least I think I did. Charlene gave me a few encouraging nods as I did my best to "flow with the music" and "become one with the movements".

Then came the power yoga part where the real stretching, "flowing" and "becoming one" happened. It is quite hard to maintain one's grace and limberness when one can not seem to find balance and when one's knee joints pop when lunging forward. In the silence of the room, with only very soft music playing, my knee pops sounded so loud I was sure half the class heard it. Luckily while in the midst of most exercises, Charlene would encourage the group to close their eyes.

The group did keep their eyes closed for the most part. I know because I kept looking around trying to look at everyone else. Which may be the reason why maintaining my balance was so hard! I could not help sneaking peeks even after Charlene caught me doing it a number of times.

We did a lot of exercises on floor mats. Most of the women brought their own. But since this was my first class, I had to use one of the mats in the gym. We had one exercise where we had to lie face down on our mats and raise our upper torso as well as our legs. Charlene kept telling us to imagine that our bodies were forming the letter "u" , I kept imagining what kind of germs I was picking up by rubbing my face on the blue mat.

Then came the wall exercises which I liked much better. Pushing against the wall made me feel a lot more balanced. It was actually a good feeling to stretch and get the kinks out of my tired muscles and joints.

The class ended at 7:30, which surprisingly came sooner than I thought. That, for me, is a great indication of a successful exercise class. Usually while doing exercises I find myself looking at my watch and counting the minutes till the class ends. But last night, the class was over even before I had the chance to notice the time. Definitely a good sign.

All in all the class was a good start. I can't say that I am now a yoga junkie but neither was I turned off by the class. There were definitely good and not so good points. But overall, I feel pretty great about myself and did not mind so much that my body hurt a bit when I woke up this morning. I will definitely be back to attend a few more classes and will have to make do with using a towel on the mat at least until I get my own mat!


Eddie said...


Anonymous said...

good post... thanks.

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jol said...

It's a good start for something you have never done. Give it sometime before you assess what it could do for your body. It may be the kind of exercise that is best suited for you.

jencc said...

I used to do yoga with a Dada from Ananda Marga ( It was more on meditation than postures (we did around 30% meditation, 70% postures). A friend of mine has begun teaching hot yoga (or Bikram yoga, check out as he's putting up a studio in Manila. I absolutely love it! I hear that they turn up the temp higher in the US, but in can't do it that much, we'll all be sapped of energy at the end of the class. Oh, and this is more hatha/physical yoga...and eyes are open; they call it "active meditation". BTW, my friend just lives down the street from you guys...25 Xavier! =)

kquill said...

jo doing yoga?! i was laughin' on the part when you're joints are popping and you being too conscious of it..hehe! but it's good you're doing something different.