After taking my very first yoga class EVER last week at Back to Health, with Tracy Macon (yes, it's bacon with an "M") I felt the need to share my experience in case there are others out there like me. To start, it is important to know that I am one who LOVES my comfort zone. I stick to the things I know, which avoids a lot of stress for me. Anything outside of my cozy little box makes me slightly nervous, and needless to say, I put it off as long as possible. So yoga fell into this category for me. Now you’re probably thinking, “You’re young and active, yoga will be easy for you!” Well not quite. I have a 15-year history of dance classes and competitive dance teams in my past, so I am used to being very flexible, but since I have not done anything of the sort for the last 8 years, I know my flexibility is not where it should be. On top of that, we have that stereotypical picture of yoga and “yogi’s” in our head thanks to TV and the media. I do not have 4-foot-long, slender legs that I can put over my head so yoga isn’t for me, right!?! So, so, so wrong! Yoga is truly for everyone!
EVERYONE has muscles that are too tight and too weak regardless of our awareness of them, so yoga classes are a great solution. When I woke up at 6:30am Saturday morning, I was sore from my workouts earlier in the week (which included 150 pull-ups, ugh!), I was tired, and it was a Saturday…my only day to sleep in. So obviously I didn’t go into this with the most optimistic attitude, but that was soon to change.
The vibe that was set in the functional training center was perfect. The lights were off, and the sunrise was coming up through the windows. Tracy had the best playlist of calming, inspiring, chill out music that completely set the tone. I’m all about good music so this was one of my favorite parts. And the class itself was not what I was expecting at all. Tracy doesn’t just stand at the front of the class demonstrating everything and basically taking the class herself, rather she walks throughout the whole class the entire time. The class members are a variety of experience levels which makes it feel super comfortable and not intimidating at all, but also allows you to see how to perform each position if Tracy is in another section of the room. After an hour of multiple poses, breathing patterns, motivational words from Tracy, and a final 5 minutes at the end of simply laying in a position of your choice, I was completely renewed and ready for the day.
But what stuck out to me most was Tracy’s words of inspiration throughout the class. While in a “tree pose” (for you non-yoga goers, its standing on one leg with the other foot placed on the inside of your standing thigh) she had us focus on all of our blessings we have in our life. She said that simply our ability to be there that morning meant we have so much to be thankful for that we tend to take for granted. Well isn’t that the truth!?! And to think just an hour before that I was being moody because I had to wake up early to go to a FREE yoga class, in my $75 yoga leggings, sore from working out in a state of the art gym with a trainer, and all because I have a gold mine of a job working at Back to Health in my dream state of Arizona. My goodness, talk about perspective! She was so right, we are SO BLESSED. How easy was it for me to forget everything God has graciously given me? I’d say that was a top 5 most selfish feeling moment of my life. If for nothing else than a reality check, I instantly made a commitment to myself that I would make yoga a regular part of my routine.
As the day went on, I also noticed a dramatic decrease in my muscle soreness. Literally every area of my body was sore in some fashion before the class, and it was 70% gone even the next day as well. Another added perk was I noticed some ab soreness afterwards so not only was I stretching tight muscles, but I was building muscle at the same time. YOGA IS AWESOME! After one class, I am a firm believer in all yoga can do for your life both physically and mentally.
If you have never tried a yoga class, or if you have but only a few times, get your butt to Back to Health ASAP. Free yoga people! For my inside the box peeps, here are 5 things to keep in mind before attending your first class to ease some of that unknown:
1. Yoga is truly for everyone, no matter the age, mobility, male, female, or experience level.
2. Wear whatever you feel most comfortable in. If that is tighter fitting clothing, go for it! If it is looser clothing, do it! Your comfort is extremely important so don’t sacrifice that for what the typical yoga picture looks like.
3. There are multiple types of yoga so if you aren’t impressed or comfortable with one style, there are plenty of other options, so find the best fit for you.
4. Yoga mats. Although we have a few yoga mats available for you to use at Back to Health, they are limited, so either get there early or pick one up super cheap at a TJ Maxx or Marshall’s.
5. Trust the process! It is 100% acceptable to look around during class and see if you are performing a pose correctly. Mobility and flexibility are not something you develop in a week. Be patient with your progress and do not compare yourself to the woman next to you who has been doing yoga 3 times a week for the last year. You will get there if you are consistent.
We offer free classes Saturday’s at 8am and Wednesday evenings at 6:30pm. Then on Monday’s at 6:30 pm and Saturday at 9am we offer classes for only $5. So head over to myanthemhealth.com and sign up for a class now! I promise it is worth it and you will definitely see me there!
P.s. Take a minute or two away from whatever you are doing right now, close your eyes, and simply think of all the blessing you have in your life. Whether it was the house and family you came from this morning, the job you are currently at, or simply the ability to read this post on your $300 smart phone. There is so much to be thankful for so take the time to appreciate it. I know I do.
*AZ Chiropractic License Pending*
Dr. Courtney Knight is a recent Doctor of Chiropractic graduate of National University of Health Sciences in St. Petersburg, Florida and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 2013. Go Blue! Dr. Knight was born and raised in a small town in southwest Michigan where her sense of community and wellness drove her to pursue a career in the holistic health field. She saw the inconsistency in what society was being told was "healthy" and desired the research on how to truly correct one's diet to fuel their body rather than feed cravings. Dr. Knight focused her studies on the anti-inflammatory diet, discovering that our bodies are in a state of chronic inflammation due to the food we are eating which in turn, is the underlying cause of so many diseases plaguing our world today.... see more
Dr. Brian Hester, originally from Alabama, graduated from Life University in 1999 with his Doctorate of Chiropractic. He moved to Anthem, Arizona in 2003 and opened his wellness center. Dr. Hester's mission is to provide people in the North Phoenix area, with the tools they need to identify stressors in their life and the underlying causes of their health challenges. With Dr. Hester as a health partner, patients can make positive lifestyle changes and take control of their lives...... see more
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41930 N Venture Dr #110
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