Thursday, September 29, 2011

The New Kid in School..

We all know what its like to be the new kid. Whether its starting school again, tackling the first day at a new job, or even joining a new club. It can be unnerving, even as a confident adult. That feeling along can make it difficult to start new things, or take that first trip to a group workout.  I was the new kid this week, as I stepped into a (GASP!) yoga studio for the first time.

I've been wanting to incorporate yoga into my schedule for awhile, and this week seemed the perfect time to start. I'm tapering, not spending as much time working out, therefore freeing up a little time in my schedule. I didn't want power yoga or hot yoga, mostly because I'm a newbie and don't want to risk injuring myself with less than 2 weeks until Chicago. So I found a gentle yoga class right near my house, and figured it was a great place to start. The only problem being that I had never taken a yoga class before. The nerves were equivalent to that of the hours leading up to a 22 mile long run.

Walking into the studio was, of course, intimidating. I donned my running clothes, and had a towel rolled up under my arm (I don't own a yoga mat). There were a few people in the room already, chatting like old friends while they were stretching (oh my Gumby-ness!). Yikes.

I warned the instructor that I'm a long distance athlete who doesn't stretch. Not only can I not touch my toes, I can barely hang my hands past my knees. She smirked, gave me the standard "stop if anything hurts or doesn't feel right" speech and handed me a few blocks. I'm a very confident person, but I was petrified of everyone staring at me and then being the one being talked about after class. Gulp.

The class was 75 minutes long, and I stretched more in those 75 minutes than in my entire life combined. Everyone in the class was so into the class, that they didn't even notice how much of a "stiff as a board" disaster I was. The instructor would come by my mat (yep, she let me borrow a real yoga mat like a big kid!) while going through the poses, to make sure that I was maximizing my potential. The words "runners calves" and "tight hamstrings" came out of her mouth on different occasions, but I could tell she was thrilled that she had a convert  on her hands.

Yoga was hard, but I loved it. It wasn't 75 minutes of heart-pounding efforts, or watching zones, distance, or pace. It was quiet, focused, and totally chill. Something I definitely need in my life. And when I woke up Tuesday morning, I didn't feel as tight as I usually do.  It's something I'm going to start adding into my workout routine, especially once Chicago is over.

Being the new kid is never easy; however it allows us to open doors to new opportunities and possibilities. Stepping outside our own boxes, and our comfort zones is just one way to better ourselves as individuals.

Happy Training!


  1. My first yoga class was my last yoga class. Ugg. But I DO plan on going back eventually. It is a bit intimidating but I'm informed by my chiropractor that yoga is a MUST if I'm to keep running. I do some at home on my own now, but want to get back to do a class again. It was SO much harder than I expected!

  2. I loveeeee yoga. such a peaceful place.

  3. I am a little intimidated by yoga too since I am not much of a stretcher. I hear about people taking the class for the first time and shaking to death in all of the interesting poses. I also want to give Yoga a try but I guess I am not as brave as you yet. Good job for stretching your boundaries and trying something new!

  4. Yep, it's hard, and was shaking often :) I'm glad I started w/ the gentle yoga, as it reaalllllyyy stretched me well. I needed it. Definitely give it a try, I'm sure you'll love it. And Katie, I'm hooked :)

  5. It is so funny you posted this today. I almost attended my first yoga class today but went for a run instead. I spent the morning looking up yoga studios and checking out their schedules but decided to run instead. It's definitely on my list of things to incorporate into my routine. I'm afraid I might burst into laughter, b/c I imagine lots of chanting and stuff. So glad you had fun.

  6. OMG, it was SO HARD to keep my laughter under wraps at the beginning. And then I decided if I was there, I would make the most of it. But yes, I was close to laughing for the first 10mins :)

    Thats the issue w/ me - if having to choose running or yoga, I'll always choose the run. So I'm trying to fit it in on my off days or easy/cross training days!

  7. I am so afraid of yoga! And I don't stretch either. This made me want to try it!

  8. Awesome, the 3x I have taken Yoga I loved it and swore I would make it a routine of mine. The last class was 2 yrs ago. Thanks for sharing Gumby!