Go big or go home, right? After all, if you’ve never, ever gone to a yoga class, you should definitely choose a 3,000-person yoga festival as the venue for the occasion. It’s about as wise as competing in a free-throw shooting contest at halftime of a hoops game having never handled a basketball before. Or doing synchronized swimming when you should still be wearing water wings.
But there I was at Wanderlust Festival in Stratton,Vermont, sitting on my brand new mat. Lisa and I were guests of the kind folks at Timberland who provided us with the opportunity to attend and the festival was a first-class affair (there are three more Wanderlusts this summer in Colorado, Tahoe, and Whistler if you want to attend). It was early Friday morning and I was in the great room of a ski lodge with 50+ others ready to get our ohm on.
So why had I never tried yoga before? Is it the yogi lifestyle that I just didn’t identify with? Nope, I have no problems with the spirituality of the practice, and enjoyed the wide array of people who came for the weekend. It’s simple: I’m the Reluctant Hubby. There are tons of things I’ve never tried, so never rolling out a yoga mat isn’t that far-fetched. I’ve had an interest in giving it a go in the past, but something better always came along (even if it was just a nap).
Lisa chose the session, which was taught by Rolf Gates, someone whose class she had been in before. The room was crowded, we got there late, and the only free space for me was … in the front row, perpendicular to all the other mats. Great. My plan was to hide in the back and do my best to mirror the moves of the folks on either side of me. Poof, not an option. I was going to need this yoga session to help reduce the stress I was feeling about taking this yoga session.
Rolf began and talked a lot about how he works the concepts of yoga into his day-to-day life. His approach is very much grounded in the daily realities we face and how yoga can help us get through them. The one concept that connected the most with me was when he said, “Community is stronger than will power.” By relying on those around us, whether friends, family, co-workers, or just the other people in a yoga class, we are able to achieve more than by just relying on ourselves. It’s a large reason why I write these posts every week; by sharing with an audience of readers, I am more active and further along my healthy living journey than if I was relying on just little ol’ me for motivation.
So how did the class go? It was a challenge, but I don’t think anyone would have known I was a noob. I definitely broke a sweat (although there is no way I would ever do a hot yoga class after experiencing this) and was a bit sore for the rest of the day. That’s good, right? I relied on my Pilates experience to help me “connect” better on some of the moves and I was pleased with my flexibility (until I saw an advanced class the next day and the Cirque du Soleil-style moves they were throwing around). I even closed my eyes and tried to connect with my breathing and heartbeat on the final round of “oms” we did at the end of class.
Will I do yoga again? Sure. Lisa hopes we can go to the studio that’s less than a half-mile away once a week. I’m curious what a hip-hop yoga class is like, especially after experiencing a teacher lead a session to Meat Loaf’s “Paradise By the Dashboard Light” in Vermont. I guess my third eye has been opened.
Previously on The Reluctant Hubby: “5Ks are OK“