A pleasant start to 2012

1 Jan

I’ve done yoga on and off for the last several years, but never with real regularity.  Most of the yoga I have done in the past was more of a workout than relaxation.  I attended one very popular local yoga studio for a while, and their classes were a great workout, but they were overwhelmingly attended by the Johnny Gym Class type.  The studio also admitted way more students than there was space to comfortably accommodate.  After being kicked in the head in two separate classes, I swore that place off.

When I was pregnant with Baby Beez, I got a certificate for 5 free prenatal classes at Yoga Matrika.  I was exhausted during most of my pregnancy, but strangely got an energy burst around the 36th week, and attended prenatal yoga classes for the last several weeks of my pregnancy.  Sharon, the owner and instructor, was skilled, courteous, and encouraged students to modify their poses based on what is most comfortable for their body.  I liked her style, and after Baby Beez was born, continued on to Baby & Me classes.

On Friday I got an email from Yoga Matrika advertising an “Energy Clearing Meditation” workshop for New Year’s Day.  The class was described as:

[A] special meditative yoga practice. We will start our practice with the 9 cleansing breaths, chant seed syllables to clear the central channel and practice a short sequence of physical movements with breath exercises. Then, we will sit in meditative silence for twenty minutes together. After our meditation, we will explore a sequence of gentle yoga poses followed by chanting both for peace and the removal of obstacles. The practice will end with a supported restorative pose. Open to all levels.

I am truly terrible at meditation, clearing my mind, and sitting still.  I tend to multitask all the time…like right now I’m watching the Steelers game, typing on the computer, and trying to keep Baby Beez from destroying my in-law’s house.  This meditation class sounded like a good opportunity to start out the year with calm and focus.

I loved the workshop.  There was very little movement. About 80% of the time we were sitting and doing focused breathing.  I thought the 20 minutes of silence would be a disaster for me, but the time flew by and I was a little disappointed when it ended.  I did my very best to clear my mind.  I focused on my breaths and envisioned myself swimming.  As I breathed in, I visualized stretching my arm forward,  and as I breathed out, I visualized scooping the water and pulling my arm back.  The whole idea of meditation is to clear your mind entirely, but that takes lots of practice.  I was thrilled that I was able to at least get my mind to do something other than make lists of all the things I have to do.  I was far more relaxed after this yoga class than any other class I’ve taken. I have thought for years that meditation was “not for me,” but I am glad to have tried something new and proven myself wrong.  Yoga Matrika will be offering more of these workshops in the future, and I would enjoy attending more of them.


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