With my knee injury, I've pretty much avoided all exercise except yoga. And I feel good about that. I think a week of low impact has been awesome (even though a stationary bike and/or elliptical are technically "low impact" as well, they're definitely more physically strenuous than yoga).
The thing about yoga at a big-ish studio is that there's quite a bit of difference between the different classes. Depending on the teacher, the type of yoga, the class size, the length of time, etc., you can find yourself in two very different classes, even if they're both called "Vinyasa, All Levels."
I went to a class Tuesday with a historically good (challenging) teacher. And the class was good. But it maybe wasn't as challenging for me as it was for the 3 or 4 students attending their first class ever. When I got home that night, I told Jonathan that I need to start attending higher level classes. Not that the lower level ones aren't good - but after yoga, I like to feel like I've both worked out and stretched - and in some of the lower level ones, I don't necessarily get that worked out feeling.
But there was a little more to that comment than on the surface: basically, I need to get over my fear of headstands, or else I won't be able to keep up in an advanced class.
Fast forward to a class I went to last night. The class was supposed to be yoga/meditation taught by the owner of the studio. But when I arrived, the owner was not teaching it. Instead, Lacey (yoga goddess/incredibly fit/incredibly flexible/intense) was stepping in since the owner was out of town.
The class was awesome - it was fast-paced, really challenging, a mix of cardio & stretching - but, I came home feeling like a schmuck because during the headstand portion, I felt like a fool. I just couldn't do it! I even asked Yoga Goddess to help me. And she did for a second, but there were so many people in the class, she couldn't spend all that much time.
I came home seriously doubting myself. I just didn't understand why I couldn't do it. Am I not strong enough in the shoulders? (Although this seems unlikely because everyone else in the class was able to do it [ie, old people, fat people, even a little kid who was there with his dad!]) Am I not flexible enough? (That's always a question I ask myself about yoga poses.)
But when I was explaining it all to Jonathan, he answered the question for me: I am strong enough, I am flexible enough...I'm just not gutsy enough. I'm flat-out scared of falling or hurting myself.
So we went into the (carpeted) office of our house, set up a blanket, and under intense supervision of Jonathan...
I did it!
Pretty easily, actually. And it was awesome! Such a feeling of accomplishment! I went on to do about 5 more - just because I could - and because I wanted to lock all the steps in to memory.
I might just be a headstand machine, now. I'm definitely going to try to practice at home a lot, because today my shoulders are feeling the we've-never-been-used-like-this burn today. But seriously - I'm so happy with myself! And so excited about attending more advanced classes!