For years, I’ve thought of yoga as being a lot like flossing — it’s one of those things that I knew I should do, but I just couldn't find the time to squeeze it in.
I’ve always known that with the amount of cardio and weight training I do, I needed to be incorporating a yoga class into my weekly routine. Much like stretching after a workout or getting a monthly massage, yoga is also key to ensuring that your muscles stay flexible and functional. So at the beginning of 2012, I decided that this was the year I would try yoga.
Now folks, although I consider myself knowledgeable about cardio and resistance training, I was totally a yoga virgin before taking this class, so my knowledge of yoga is limited. With that said, I decided to take my first yoga class from Lauren, a fellow instructor at World Gym, where I would at least be in a familiar environment.
Lauren’s yoga class is on Sundays at 1:15 p.m. (at World Gym Smyrna) and is quite popular. I would recommend getting to the gym no later than 1 p.m. to ensure that you get a spot in the class (you need to sign up at the front desk). Also, go ahead and bring your own yoga mat.
The class is an hour long and typically starts — and ends — with Lauren asking the class to close their eyes, focus on their breathing and clear their minds. There is soft music playing throughout and the lights in the room are dimmed. It’s a very peaceful environment (although because the room shares a floor with cardio equipment, you can sometimes hear the “whir” of a treadmill).
Lauren then takes you through a variety of poses over the course of the class. She's great about describing what to do with your body for each pose and encouraging you to listen to your body and modify positions to be easier or harder, depending on whether you are a beginner or advanced. Speaking from a beginner’s perspective, I think this class is excellent for anyone who wants to give yoga a try. But, I was surrounded by people of all levels, so it’s challenging enough for advanced participants, too.
And for those of you who would rather not have your form corrected, Lauren is not an instructor who walks around doing this. Instead, you are encouraged to come and ask her questions before or after class.
This Sunday yoga class was excellent for helping me to focus on breathing, relaxing and thoroughly stretching my tight muscles. In this class, I was actually able to tune out the rest of the world and focus on the moment. I liked my first experience so much that I've been back two more times — this class is definitely a FWAB "fit!"
If you'd like to attend Lauren's class, your first visit to World Gym, as a guest, is free. (Be sure to bring your driver's license, as the gym will require you to have a photo ID to work out.) From that point on, it's $10 per visit, or you can choose to join the gym...
Do you know of a yoga class that's a "fit?" Tell us about it in the "Comment" section.
And if you haven't "liked" FWAB on Facebook, I'd appreciate it so much if you would. Until next Tuesday — stay FWABulous!