Last Saturday I went to my first ever yoga class. I remember doing some yoga in gym class my senior year of high school, and I've done some yoga dvds, but haven't ever really received proper instruction. As much as I love working out in the privacy and convenience of my living room, it did not seem effective to be craning my neck to see the TV while doing downward facing dog, and so I decided it was time to go to an actual yoga class.
A friend had mentioned being interested in checking out a specific studio a while ago (Yoga Oasis), so we and another friend made plans to check out their intro class. It was fantastic, and I'm planning on returning this weekend as well. I'm hoping to start going to a class consistently once or twice a week, and then hopefully learn (and remember) enough to practice at home as well (#7, here I come!).
About 3 years ago I was introduced to the Health at Every Size philosophy via random internet wanderings. HAES, in summary, is the idea that weight does not equate with health, that I as a 200lb woman am not inherently unhealthy, and that exercise and eating well are things that certainly can improve our health without weight loss being a direct result. The idea that exercise was something to do because it actually feels good and NOT purely as method of losing was weight was something I never thought would happen for myself. Sure, I can see that some people enjoy torturing themselves through things like long distance running, but that wasn't me! I was more of a diet/exercise are really only good for changing the way my body looks, and since that's not something that seems to work real well, to hell with it all!
The more I read about HAES (and the fat acceptance movement in general) the more intrigued I became, and slowly began shifting my ideas around weight and health. I genuinely enjoy eating healthful foods, and cooking, so that piece was a little easier. I took ballet a few years ago and completely fell in love (another future list item is taking another class) but haven't really done a lot of other exercise that I really enjoy. Although I've only taken one class so far, I love that yoga is very much about listening to your body, doing what's right for your body, and that the intro class is very much about just figuring that out.