So, I had my first Pilates class and honestly it was a lot better than I was anticipating it would be, not that I was thinking it was going to be terrible, just that it was going to be nothing like yoga. It turned out to be more intense than yoga but definitely not worse or better. I could feel my muscles more during the workout and the breathing is much different but I was pleasantly surprised that I was not sore afterward. I totally believed I would be able to feel this workout afterwards because I could feel my muscles working like they never have before but I couldn’t and that was wonderful. There is nothing worse than being sore from a workout and not wanting to do anything for the rest of the day because of it.
The class I attended with my friend was real small, there were only five other ladies there so I got the attention that I needed for it being my first time. Since it was such a small class the other ladies got plenty of attention as well from the instructor, they probably didn’t need as much as me since they have been to this class plenty of times, it was just nice to have the instructor guide you along the way. The most difficult thing was learning all of the moves that she taught us, I am so used to yoga it was hard to get my body to bend in different ways but I guess that is a good thing because I got to use the same muscles by using different moves. There were many times that I felt like I wasn’t doing it right but when I checked out my friend she was doing the same thing as me so I felt better about it, some moves were extremely awkward that I felt that it couldn’t be right but then again there are some moves in yoga that are awkward. It was a real learning experience for me to know that they are other things out there than just yoga. I feel I really benefited from Pilates. On top of that, it was a pretty comfortable group of ladies, the friend that came with me was a bridesmaid in my wedding so I was comfortable with learning along side of her.
I have found a new love in Pilates, I can’t believe that it has taken this long to discover it’s wonders and benefits. I will probably continue going to this class for awhile, yes I bought a membership to this gym my friend goes to, until I get comfortable enough to do this at home. It might take a year or so before this happens because there is so much to learn, with the bands and balls and all of the other tools to use, I don’t plan on using the big machines for Pilates, just my body and the little instruments. The big machines are just going to complicate the workout out more than I choose to have it. I like being able to just use my body to work my muscles, it much more relaxing, if you can believe it, for a workout. So I am really glad that I stepped out onto a limb here with Pilates, I was nervous but I so didn’t need to be.
As you all know, I live my life around yoga, it has helped me achieve things that I thought I would never be able to do again. I have a friend who swears by Pilates, she is as passionate about Pilates as I am about yoga, I have never taken a Pilates class but she has taken yoga before. She prefers Pilates over yoga and she has asked if I would be interested in taking a Pilates class with her. I didn’t really know anything about Pilates, such as the exercises or the benefits of it, so I did some research on it. I found out that Pilates does offer many benefits, just like yoga and there are many variations and levels of Pilates. You can use machines, which in my opinion are a little too advance for me or you can just use your body which I would prefer to do, my friend is very advanced and takes classes that use the Pilate machines.
I have not yet taken the class with her but I plan to, I think that it will be a good idea to see another way to improve my body. I am excited for this and even though my friend is way more advanced than I am she has agreed to take a beginner class with me. I know that without the machines I will be able to have a Pilates session at my home but I believe that I will not be able to do Pilates on my back porch or in my yard like yoga. P1lates like yoga is about balance but yoga you are basically on your feet for most of it, with Pilates you are laying down for most of it and trying to balance. I am pretty sure that the grass in my backyard is not a good spot for this, it will be very difficult to get the proper form to be able to do Pilates correctly. Sam goes for my back porch but instead of a lumpy ground I will have a rock hard service. Needless to say I will have to do Pilates in my front room, which is not a big deal, it’s just that I prefer to be outside, I feel you are more in tuned to your body and mind by being outside. I have a vivid memory of one session that I was a part of, it was on the flat roof of my friends works office building. She works for a very forward thinking company which she prefers that I do not mention but needless to say it was quite amazing to be that high in the air feeling the cool breeze rush over us while on the top of the building.
I do know that it will be a good idea to mix it up a bit and get my body moving in different directions with doing both yoga and Pilates, the end result of each are basically the same. Both strengthen your muscles and give you flexibility but they go about it in differently, they use the same muscles in very different ways and I think that it will be beneficial to me and to anyone for that matter to incorporate both in the lives. Your muscles can get used to doing the same thing day in and day out and I look looking to having my body react in a positive way to changing up my routine.
I have nothing against going to a yoga studio, I know that most of my posts are about my yoga sessions at home but when I first started yoga I went to a studio near my home. Occasionally, I will go back to this same studio for a yoga session, I love the instructor, we have lunch together sometimes. The reason I am bringing this up is because I went to this studio this morning for my yoga session. No particular reason brought me there, I guess I was feeling like I needed to be around others today. The first class that this instructor teaches is at eleven in the morning so I slept in. That could have been why I went, that I needed to sleep in today. Who knows? I don’t have a membership anymore with this studio, I stopped going there full time a year or two ago but they let you pay for individual classes on a one time basis. I think that is why I chose this studio to begin with. I didn’t know back then how much of an impact yoga would have on my life.
So when I first started out I didn’t want to have to make a yearly commitment to this, so I just bought classes one at a time. Then I realized how wonderful yoga was for me and I felt totally connected to the instructor, so I bout a year membership to this studio but along the way, the instructor had taught me so much that I ended up not renewing the membership and started to do yoga at my home, which I found more beneficial. This morning though, I wanted to go back and be around all the wonderful ladies that go to this studio. I enjoy being around them very much. There are those ladies that do yoga to just have something to do and there are those that do yoga for the benefits. I never let the ones that are there because they think this is the cool new fad ruin my session. If anything, it helps me to concentrate more on me, which is beneficial. i just leave them there to socialize with each other.
My instructor was really happy to see me, we could not have lunch today because she had a full schedule but we made plans for lunch later in the week. I was really glad to see her and have her teach this class. She has such tremendous insight on what yoga can do for your mind and body, she taught me so much about yoga that when I am at home I follow how she would guide the class, I will make it my own but I use her lessons as a general guideline. So it was a different experience from what I am used to, it was a good feeling to be able to just let go and have her guide me on today journey’s, I am so used to having to decide at the moment what I will do, it was extremely refreshing and relaxing. I might go back every month or so and have her class, I had forgotten that there is a whole other experience this way and I thoroughly enjoyed today.
One final thing before I go. I have decided I want to mimic the look of the studio by installing wood floors in my home studio. I found a company. I am hoping that some of my readers may have had experience with them and will give me some input. Please let me know if you have ever used this company in the comment sections. Here is there website…. www.whitelakewoodflooring.com
We all love thunderstorms, there isn’t really anything more relaxing and peaceful (besides yoga) than watching a thunderstorm. The sounds of the rain mixed with the thunder, you can almost feel the electricity of the lightening in the air. My husband and I will sit on our porch and just watch the sky. It is one of our favorite things to do. Unless we a made previous plans, we will always just sit and watch. Rain is so beneficial for us in so many ways. It waters our grass, trees, shrubs and flowers but it also cleanses the air. It also acts as a service to remove out all of the pollutants and washes it all away, that’s why the air smells so fresh and clean after it rains. And when it storms in the morning when I have my yoga session, it’s almost unbearable how wonderful I feel when I am done, almost.
Last night we had a thunderstorm that lasted into the morning when I usually do my yoga. I have never regretted screening in our porch, for this reason in particular, I am so grateful that we did. It was amazing being able to be outside in the storm (sort of) and having my yoga session. It is a rare day when this happens, sure sometimes it rains and that’s nice too but nothing beats yoga during a thunderstorm. I did an extra long session today, I was trying to last until the storm ended but this was a major storm and it seemed to go on forever, so I only lasted about two hours this morning. I don’t usually go that long, I try to stick to a hour but I just had to make an exception for today.
Most days, I will pick a good spot in the backyard to lay my mat down but since we just had a koi pond installed I have decided that the pond is the best spot now for yoga. I cannot get close enough to see the fish in the water because now it is really wet around there, obviously, but I will still always be near enough to hear the pond. Sometimes that is better than seeing, there are times that I will close my eyes and just listen to the world and that pond is magical. However, today since it’s raining out I was forced to stay on the porch, which really isn’t a bad thing. There are many good ways to enjoy yoga, I have my favorites and the new koi pond is definitely one of them. I will however never complain about doing yoga in the middle of a thunderstorm on our porch. One of my favorite things about yoga is the fact that I can do it anywhere, be it my porch, the studio, a parking lot or my backyard. All I need is my mat and me.
The sun rose this morning at 6:24am. So I was outside at and ready to start my yoga session at six o’clock. It was a little chilly out but still I only wore my yoga paints and a loose fitting shirt, no shoes. I was facing the east so I could view the spectacular sunrise. Yoga in the morning on days like these are the most peaceful and relaxing sessions one could have. It is one of the best ways to start the day off right. It will put you in the right frame of mind so you can live the day to the fullest.
I drink a glass of water before I start my stretching and wait to drink coffee until I am done. I have found that this is most beneficial, just a glass of water to hydrate and to wake me a bit, that way there is no caffeine in my system and I am as relaxed as possible. Relaxation is crucial for yoga, you need to be at peace to experience the advantages of yoga. Some people use it to relax and come down from the day, I use it to begin each day to utilize each days potential.
I don’t usually plan what stretches I will do each day, it all depends on the day, I just go with the flow and do whatever feels natural to the moment. I will do some stretches more than once and some I only do once. It really all depends on the morning. How long I hold each stretch also depends on each new day. I always just go with the flow of the morning, that’s what usually dictates what stretches I do, the morning. Each day is different, I have realized that the stretches I do is what I need to be able to optimize my day.
I do not feel that yoga should be a planned exercise. It is more a feel of your body and mind to what you need to be able feel completely at peace. It will all depend on how yesterday went and how you want today to go. The time frame of my yoga always varies as well. I know how long it takes depends on what I want to get out of it. There are times that I am there for around a hour and there are times that it’s only ten minutes. If I do finish before the sun is totally risen, I will just sit in Lotus Position and enjoy the beautiful morning.
I want you all to experience yoga in the way that I do. It’s more than just a fashion or social undertaking. It is meant to help you become one with yourself, it could almost be called meditation and some do. Meditation and yoga are about finding your own center of peace. Most people I find do it because it the popular thing to do and that’s fine, at least you are doing it but I don’t feel that those people are not getting the potential from yoga by going in with that mind set. Yoga can be one of the most important things you can do to be the best form of yourself. I hope that with this blog I can install in you all the wonders of Yoga. One other thing I almost forgot to say, thank you to the wonderful landscaping company that installed my new coi pond and the sod in my back yard. Hearing the sounds of water is so peaceful while I perform my yoga sessions.
I want to start off here by giving you all a little background on me. About five years ago I was in a terrible car accident. My car ended up rolling. It was winter and I hit a patch of ice and I skidded off the road. There was a small hill but my car rolled upside down. I did have my seat belt on and that is probably the only reason that I am alive today. I went through many months of rehab. Today I am 100% back to normal. I have many reasons to thank for this, yoga being only a small part but I believe a major part. It has helped me form my new mind and body. I have a completely new outlook on life these days, needless to say, and yoga has helped teach me to slow down and enjoy the small moments of life. It has helps me reflect on the day, helps in organizing my thoughts and most importantly it helps me to put my priorities in the correct sequence. I use yoga everyday and always in the morning, it is a very beneficial way to start the day so no part of it is wasted and that is so important. We all need to use our days in the most beneficial way possible. Each minute is just as important as the next or the last and each needs to be use to our full potential. I feel yoga helps this process to be achieved. I started yoga by going to classes, now I wake up every morning with the knowledge that I have stored so I can have my own peaceful session. Yoga has taught me many things but if I can only get one of those to you it is that life needs to slow down and be enjoyed. We only get one so we need to take for advantage of it and live it so we are as happy as we can be.