If you feel like you’re choking, you’re doing it right

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I Am...Yoga

I’ve now successfully managed to do 2 yoga classes at my gym.
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Yoga is new to me.  I am not a relaxed, calm person.  I run at a high level and I wasn’t really sure I could be still enough to do yoga.  But you know what?  Yoga isn’t necessarily about being still.  AND Yoga isn’t easy.  Nope, it’s not.
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We do “I Am…Yoga” at our gym.  Developed by our instructor Cary.  Here is the description.

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“By combining the best of yoga stretching exercises, breathing exercises, and visualization techniques, I am..Yoga™ is a self healing program of exercise that when practiced regularly reduces stress, releases muscular tension, balances the vital life forces of the body, eliminates toxins, and stimulates the body to heal itself. The visualization exercises practiced in I am…Yoga™ help to create a positive vision for your future and allow you to open more fully to your true purpose in life.”
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All of that sounds terrificly terrific right?   Who doesn’t want to balance the vital life forces of the body?
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Me, me, I do!
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What I have learned, in the very vast knowledge I have gleaned from 2 classes of yoga is this…
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I can not seem to breathe deeply.  Have you breathed deeply lately?  Like really deeply.  It’s not easy if you aren’t used to it.  Try it.  Go on.  Breathe in for a slow 6 counts, your belly should expand, like below the ribcage, and then blow out your breath through your mouth for 6 seconds, your belly button should pull in toward your spine.  She said that during our normal day to day stuff, we only use 10 percent of our lung capacity.  I believe it.
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I am not flexible yet.  I am not sure why I think I would be after 6 months of inactivity.  But, I can not put my head to my knee, my head to the mat, my head to my shoulder, my head to my shins.   Apparently, putting my head to things is going to be really important.  My head flexibility has never been challenged.  That is about to change.
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I also learned that there is one pose…don’t know what it is called…that if you feel like you are choking, you are doing it right.  I guess it stimulates the thyroid.  Then, while you are doing it right and feeling like you are choking, you are supposed to relax into the pose.  Humm…gonna need a few more classes to get that one down.
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I like the class and I love how she says good bye to us. She says.
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Let the blessings be.  Let the blessings be.
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I can put my head into that one!|
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3 Responses to “If you feel like you’re choking, you’re doing it right”

  1. Debbie Brust says:

    Hi Aimee,

    I know how you feel, as I have been in that class with you. I’ve been going ever since Cary started teaching, and I still struggle with some of the poses. I still love the class and find it very relaxing.

  2. Allison says:

    I have been doing Tai Chi for years, and despite the constant reminders from my instructor I still have not mastered deep breathing. Every time I try I feel like I’m suffocating, I’ve been told that might actually be related to over-oxygenation. Seems odd, but I keep trying. I can vouch for breathing into the stretch, that does seem to help.

  3. Chris B. says:

    Aimee –
    Hope you stay with it. Not familiar with the class you are taking, and though I still consider myself more on the beginning side of yoga – I love it. Deep breathing will come to you, just keep practicing. Think I had an advantage in that regard with all my years of singing, but I still have to keep remembering to breathe while holding poses……hmmm…….maybe there is a way to combine deep breathing with some knitting techniques…..

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