Another New Stimulus for Body and Mind
I have dabbled with quite a few differing health activities over the past five years. With yoga being briefly one of them.
At the end of 2019, I began classes in Tsim Sha Tsui twice a week. But after a very short time, first the protests disrupted the classes, then Covid came. And that was the end of my first yoga adventure before it really got started.
While in my three week quarantine last November 2021, I signed up to Yoga Anytime online lessons which I did every morning. I can highly recommend this online service. It is very reasonably priced without the need for long term sign ups. It has plenty of different lessons depending on your level or requirements, and is a great soft entry place for anybody wanting to try yoga for the first time.
These were both positive experiences. So I knew yoga was something I wanted to learn more about. But it has been difficult to find the right time and location.
Then three weeks ago, serendipity struck yet again.
As I was wandering around Kowloon Bay on my lunch time walk, I was offered a flier on the street. I rarely take these fliers, as they always end up in the rubbish. But something told me to take this one.
Lo and behold, it was a flier for a new yoga facility in Kowloon Bay called Yyoga. Which I immediately took up the special offer for a private session one on one.
This session was excellent, but it wasn’t yoga. It was a deep stretch session which taught me some basics of stretching I had been missing. So a valuable experience. It also gave me a very positive experience of the Yyoga facility which is beautifully designed, and has a lovely tranquil feel.
So with my usual trepidation and fear, I signed up for their 7am classes of Hatha Yoga on Tuesdays, and Wheel Yoga on Thursdays.
Yoga is clearly a female dominated activity. And as expected, in the Hatha class were six flexible bendy female yoga students, and me being the one old stiff bloke struggling and sweating with even the most basic moves.
This is why I find the human body so amazing. I may be able to lift heavy weights, push heavy sleds, run around and sprint. But ask me to do a split lunge stretch, then move my hand around to grab my foot, my body simply would not allow me to do it.
Humbling is the word. While I watched the instructor and tried to follow along, it became ever more clear why I need to do these types of activities. My lack of mobility, and the ability to control my own body weight in certain ranges of motions, tells me clearly where I need to practice.
The Yyoga people are very kind. I do not feel too out of place. They make me feel welcome and are understanding of my lack of ability.
Hatha Yoga is one thing. But Wheel Yoga is something else altogether. I cannot help but be in awe of the instructor who folds herself backwards over a hard yoga wheel, while seemingly comfortable in that pose, happily talking and explaining what she is doing.
When I fold myself backwards over the wheel, it feels like my back is going to break. What’s more, it feels incredibly difficult to breathe, let alone talk. There is so much for me to focus on, and so many new signals being received by my brain, that I forget the most basic of human instincts; breathing.
Yoga is not something you do once or twice and stop because it’s too hard. Actually, no activity is something you stop after doing once or twice and make any judgment. I need to go through the process. I need to give this at least three months, twice per week to see how I can improve and if it’s truly worth continuing.
This is all part of my new strategy to slow down and spend more time on recovery type activities. To see if it can ultimately improve my mobility and allow me to continue doing what I truly enjoy doing; lifting heavy weights (without getting injured).
I will report back at the end of August after my three months experience.
In the meantime, I encourage you to try something new for the first time. New activities stimulate the brain and keep us young. The older we get, the more important it is to keep stimulating the brain with new activities ensuring our neuro pathways remain active and alive.
Be anything you want to be. Achieve anything you want to achieve.