About one year ago, I sat in the backyard of a Pacific Palisades mansion, word on the street is that Germany's Next Top Model was filmed there. Is that even a show? Surrounded by my fellow Rapha babes - We sat in three lines of four - all sporting equally as funny cycling tans. A tall-lean dark haired yogi babe stood in-front of us, explaining how excited she was to loosen up our hips. okay...
To clarify, I am flexible - but not that flexible. I don't like being forced to do things - so, when someone is telling me we have a mandatory fun event I immediately say NO. I have had previous encounters with yoga - while in high school - Also mandatory fun. We sat there, trying to keep up with this brunette bombshell as she threw out odd yoga lingo that only two or three of the girls actually understood. I felt defeated, normally I am not bad at anything athletic. We had towels to stand-on, we were on grass that was itchy, I was dreaming of my bike and ready to run into the kitchen and watch the Skratch Labs guys prepare dinner, and lock-eyes with the dreamy sous-chef - whom conveniently fit my 'hot guy, I wanna make out with you list' at the time only to miss out on the opportunity.
Flash forward a year. A text message pops up on my phone from a friend: Hey, do you want to try yoga? I quickly typed no thank you! (thinking in my head 'is she kidding me. What a ridiculous thing to participate in. I don't do yoga. Ew!) But before pressing send, I paused - maybe I do? I ended up agreeing - and essentially waited for her to give me a time and a place. Wednesday - Ritual Yoga.
This was my first chance to wear my yoga clothes for their actual purpose - however, some may disagree that tights and capris are purely made for the idea of lounging...I am one of those people - I can almost guarantee that my butt looks better as I causally lay across the outside patio in capris, than it goes when I am all sorts of contorted trying to find the balance that I somehow was never blessed with . I found a free mat that I had been given through work, somehow I had also ended up with a Yoga Toes towel which had been repurposed for a bike cover. Clearly, I was super cool and also may avoid any new kid looks because I wouldn't have to inquire about borrowing a mat from the studio receptionist. bam!
We had decided to test out a vinyassa class, neither of us knowing exactly what that meant. We signed up for one week of free classes - if we loved it we could go back, if we hated it well then f*ck it.. back to biking and running. On our way to the studio I read the description of what a Vinyassa class was, it still didn't make any sense (as the classes went on, we found ourself googling other terminology on our way to the studio so we could act like we know what was going on). Let's be real my only hope for this new yoga thing was that I would all the sudden look much more tone and become a part of the yoga-butt club. We made our first mistake: NO SHOES IN THE YOGA STUDIO ROOM! Oppsss, but they are flip-flops?!
Our teacher was a youthful yogi beauty - who seemed like the type that traveled to exotic places becoming one with herself and was probably a vegan - I would have never guessed she was also a wife and month of two who were also teenagers. She spoke in a calming but fast tone - which made me feel comfortable about my decision to come into her packed class of those who spoke that yogi language, and were far more talented and flexible than myself.
A week went by, and then I bought a month pass. I tested out various teachers and types of classes. I found myself in with people who could essentially float, as well as what seemed to be a geriatrics class that I almost feel asleep in. I tested out a number of mats too, and finally settled on a rubber one that I deemed needed to be overnighted for a Friday class. After I was equipped with everything to make me look profession (I always joke about these people on bikes...) I found myself signing up for a 6-month membership - purely because it was a better deal - not because I had become completely infatuated with finding my inner-zen three to four times a week - LIES, all L-I-E-S. I quickly found myself rearranging my work day to attend classes - then also traded in my weekly lunch rides for an afternoon spent in a hot-sweaty yoga room where I would find myself begging the teacher to let me try going inverted.
Work trip season kicked into full affect - that meant that bikes, running and yoga were put on a halt. I would find myself planning my return flights so that I could make a Friday class - I would be sitting around at dinner wishing I was working on my warrior-2 or tree pose.
In a year, my ideology about this funny thing called yoga completely changed. I feel centered, I feel much more knowledgable, I can focus, I feel strong and toned - I walk out feeling confident.
So, my two-cents on yoga? Give it a try. Studios offer new student classes all the time, they will even provide you with a mat! If you are nervous to go alone, grab a friend! Or, click around on the inter web...you'll find plenty of yoga videos on the you tubes.