I like pretzels but I never wanted to be one. However, I have always admired folks who took yoga classes. I tried yoga once and it triggered a nasty migraine. My mind might be flexible, but my limbs are not. Not one to give up, I decided to try again. This time I signed up for a yogalates class. The class is a combination of yoga and Pilates and let me tell you: I love it.
On one of my recent visits the instructor passed out ways to find your “happy place.” Since I’ve written numerous articles about happiness and erasing negativity I’m always looking for new insights in the pursuit of happiness.
The article gave six, quick points.
• Stay in the here and now.
• Choose good company.
• Enjoy water surroundings such as a pool, lake, ocean, stream etc.
• Use positive self-affirmations on a daily basis.
When I was younger, I sang a lot. I was in an all-girl rock and roll band, I sang in chorus in junior high and high school and even performed in a couple of talent assemblies. As I aged, I continued to sing but not in public. The exception was when I’d pull out my guitar and sing for my children. One of our favorite songs was an original composition I wrote with my neighbor Debbie about a Little Green Man. I occasionally sing it for my grand daughters, Rosannah and Briannah.
The day I received the article and those six tips for happiness, I decided to sing with my favorite preschoolers. However, rather than simply strumming and singing, I joyfully belted out the tune with abandon.
Rosannah and Briannah must have felt the difference in my attitude because they asked me to sing it again and again. After the third rendition, I distracted them with another musical treat. We put away the guitar and banged away on the bongo drums and piano. It was a cacophony of noise, but it was fun. I’m sure we’ll have a repeat performance this week.
No one is going to record our music, but it’s fun to play. Unfortunately most of us become more self-conscious as we grow older and we refuse to sing and perform thinking we are not good enough. While I encourage everyone to sing and dance, I know that is unlikely, so I have an alternative suggestion. Go to a concert. Most communities have free outdoor concerts. Just look at your local newspaper or our event calendar.
Relaxing through yoga might not be for anyone and it most-likely will not work on the first try as a lot of mental preparations and overcoming the fear of letting go of your stress (as ridiculous as it sounds) is just as important as the actual limb-bending itself. Many studios offer free or cheaper trial lessons or let you decide whether or not you want to sign a contract after a few weeks of discovering different classes to find the one that not only fits in your schedule but also compliments you as a person.
Those of you who have considered a yoga class but felt too self conscious to attend: push away your doubts and give it a try. You are unlikely to be joined by Taylor Swift and her long-legged model friends so there really is nothing to fear. There will always be beginners around to look at for reassurance when the instructor has seemingly mixed up the purposes of hands, feet, shoulders and most importantly up and down. Before you know it, you are the one giving the newcomers tips and tricks. I may still be the least flexible student in class but I have more energy, I’ve made some great friends and after two months I can almost touch my toes. Namaste.
If you’re inspired to tie yourself into a knot now, check out these studios and sign up for a trial lesson:
Stuttgart: www.yoga-vidya-stuttgart.deAuthor Profile:
Sally Marks is a speaker, author, screenwriter, television writer and the president of Marks Public Relations. Her self-help book, Erase Negativity and Embrace the Magic Within is available on Amazon and through her website, www.EraseNegativity.com.