In the grand scheme of things I am only spending an hour a day - an hour and fifteen minutes a day - stretching and holding up my own weight. Yoga is no sweat exercise. Three weeks of consistent work is starting to pay off. But I wonder, when is it going to get easier?
When I say paying off I mean that I have more energy throughout the day. I mean that my clothes have a smoother line. I mean that even though I haven't checked I know my back is getting all buff. I can't wait to see my back and upper arms in a tank top or one of my summer dresses. But, it's not getting any easier. Classes include difficult poses. My arms and shoulders still aren't limber enough to have my hands meet in the middle of my back in prayer. Not that that was my goal. Somehow it seems to be now. I still can't bring my one arm around my back, loop the other arm under my thigh and have the two clasp somewhere under said thigh while I open my chest to the sky. And Wednesday night the instructor wanted us to do that AND lift our leg into a balance pose. I laughed out loud. Every evening I come home with a new ache, a new tenderness somewhere on my body.
Are the poses getting harder? Am I no longer getting more limber? Have I reached a limit?
I had thought week two was the most difficult. I found it hard to go to classes. I had to put myself on auto-pilot to go to the studio and suit up. The work wasn't hard, it was the mental challenge of being there. I didn't want to go. Yoga had lost all it's "fun". I wasn't impressed with any of the instructors. The studio was boring. I wasn't able to clear my head. I was questioning if I really wanted to do this every day, e-v-e-r-y day for another four weeks, for gawd's sake. And then....
And then Friday came, and I was sorry there was no class that evening. My shoulders wanted attention. Just knowing I had no class made me want to go to class.
Saturday I realized how much fun my sweetie and are having since I started this exercise kick. Wink, wink, Nudge, nudge. Exercise is good for everyone concerned. My selfish challenge is making more than just me happy. OH! and my sweetie has been in our home studio this week using the treadmill and the knock-off Bowflex weight machine. My feeling good makes him want to feel good too. "Lead by example" - it makes a difference.
It's been a tough week this third week into the challenge. My legs don't seem to want to hold me up in any of the three warrior poses. It used to be that my arms were on fire holding them at shoulder height. Now it's my thighs that are burning up during a simple lunge. My ankles are quaking under every balance pose I attempt. Oh yes, my ankles seem to be arguing over which tendons are in charge of balance. The tendons are trading off responsibility as fast as spokes turning on a bicycle wheel. When I get home at night my core feels as if my whole rib cage - the whole barrel of a cage - is bruised, Of course it's not. I don't even know which poses are working my core this hard.
Yoga is deceptively difficult. I breathe into these postures. I only push myself as far as I feel good. I only hold a posture, an asana, for a couple breathes. But at the end of the hour...my muscles are jelly. The challenge is real. We are in the middle of this one.