My Yoga Journal…

Disclosure: This blog post is written from the perspective of a non-yogi.

So my friend Jenelle invited me to a yoga class she would be teaching. I thought, perfect! I am trying to get back in shape and what better way to do so than with a friend guiding me through. Now up until this point I have only taken 1 hour classes at a gym that were very basic about twice a week.

DAY 1 of the Yoga Experience: This class was in a renowned yoga studio. I nicknamed it M&M. A cross between what I classify as military yoga with meditative yoga. Military yoga is when the instructor calls out poses similar to a drill sergeant asking you to drop down and give them 20, but in yoga it’s called chaturanga, moving into cobra, than into downward dog. It is fast and repetitive.

The meditative side is what lazy people like me love (smile). Of course you may not see as much physical results, but it is mentally cleansing. Her class was a hybrid of the two which was refreshing with a soundtrack of music that was invigorating. She ended with a poem, a massage using peppermint oil, and this beautiful song during shavasana.

River Flows In You – Yiruma

Now I have taken several yoga classes, but this was on another level of yoga. An intense 1-1/2 hour-long class that I look at now as an experience rather than a class.

The Results:

My face broke out. I was informed it was my body’s way of cleansing out the toxins. I was sore the next day in a good way and for once in my life I was craving something healthy to eat.

This yoga thing might be exactly what I have been looking for…

DAY 2 of the Yoga Experience: I decided to commit and take a 1-1/2 hour class every other day. I took another friends class. It was called Freedom Flow – AKA “Slow and Deadly.”

Okay so I’m exaggerating a bit, but for a beginner-yogi like myself, this was an intense class. It required patience holding poses for long amounts of time, deep breathing, and balance, taking me to an emotional place perhaps I was not ready to go yet.

I learned a lot in this class, discovering our hips store emotions from our past. It felt like I had come out of a reiki healing, which brings all of the negative emotions your body has been storing to the surface cleansing out your chakras. Typical after effects of reiki are randomly breaking into tears over the course of several days, feeling melancholy, but when the emotions clear, the sun shines even brighter than before and you are healed. That is how I felt after this class. Perhaps I will do this class once a month as a spiritual cleansing.

The Results:

Is my posture improving? I have struggled with bad posture since early adolescence and I noticed I was standing straighter today, hmmm…amazing.

DAY 3 of the Yoga Experience: I took a class I nicknamed Sweaty Journey, because that is exactly what it was. Intense sweating and movement taking you on a journey of sorts, but to my surprise I liked it. At the end the teacher closed with a song on guitar. I felt like he took me somewhere during shavasana, I don’t know where just yet, but it keeps me wanting to go back, perhaps it is my journey and I felt safe in there.

The Results:

My stomach is becoming a washboard. I have not seen my stomach since I discovered beer pong when I was 16.  My eye whites are clearer and the next day I kept breaking into giggles and spuratic car dancing.

In one week of intense yoga I have seen dramatic physical and mental results. Than I thought why doesn’t everyone know about this? Which is why I wanted to write this blog post.

After my 4th class, I noticed my core strengthening, improvement in all of the poses, and my skin clearing up. I must say for the first time in a long time I am actually happy with how my body is looking and THAT is priceless…

I have signed up for a full month and my yoga journey still continues with a class tonight. I am committed to my body, aware of it, and working through mental challenges.

For an amazing yoga experience in Los Angeles/Santa Monica I highly recommend the Yoga Collective.

Namaste. (head bow)

Estella Grace