Forgive me readers, for I have sinned. It’s been… ermmm… I don’t even know how long it’s been since I last went to yoga. In my apartment, I flow through 20-30 minute videos at least every other week. But in terms of a true, distraction-free hour-long class led by a real instructor? Zip. Zero. None. It’s been at the very least since September.
On Saturday morning, following a 20-degree run on Friday that, while cold, was absolute perfection…
…I woke up craving an hour-long flow — and I didn’t even have to set any resolutions to do so. Here’s why it totally hit the spot.
1. It just felt right. There are days when you have to crawl out of bed, drag yourself out the door, and completely force yourself to exercise. Sometimes it’s the time of day (mornings are soooo hard). Sometimes it’s the air — which, if you’ve been in the northeast for the last week, you know what I mean. Sometimes, it’s your body. For me, running almost daily definitely takes its toll.
On Saturday, the pieces just fell into place. It was cold out, so I decided I’d rather exercise indoors. Yoga seemed like the perfect solution. I made the decision, found the perfect class, made breakfast, and after a little lounging on the couch was ready to head out the door. Off to a good start!
2. The studio. Maha Yoga is a nice little space in Rittenhouse Square just a couple of blocks from home. They hold $7 classes at noon on Saturdays, which is a bargain no matter which city you live in, but especially if you’re used to Manhattan prices.
3. My outfit. Let’s get girly for a second. Last weekend, I picked up a handful of brand-new items from Athleta along with fancy, cool, on-sale headbands from Anthropologie. I couldn’t wait to try them all out — especially in a public place.
As someone who covets soft, old, hole-ridden t-shirts, putting on “real” workout clothes actually felt, well, kind of nice. My new shimmery tights slid on with ease compared to my old pair (admittedly from college), of which there are many inappropriate rips.
The shirt fit like a glove, and because I bought a sleeveless top, I was able to enjoy not perpetually rolling up my floppy sleeves — which inevitably unroll within seconds.
And the headband? Well, there’s nothing that great about headbands. But they, you know, held back my hair and stuff. And they were shimmery and cool, which made me feel cool.
4. The music. At first, I got nervous that this was gonna be one of those yoga studios, where the moment you start to feel it, spiritual Indian-themed music blares through the speakers and you’re all — can’t you just play Britney? After this first warm-up song though, we transitioned into a few great tunes that made the class go by quickly. My favorite? John Legend’s Made for Love, which is one of my favorites of 2014.
5. The company. ‘Tis better to yoga with friends, and on Saturday, I brought two. The first being a little lame. It was Noah. My husband. But getting him to go to yoga is always a win on my end. My friend Katelyn was down for the dog too, and it was kind of nice to start the day sandwiched in between so much love.
6. Fans. As the class kicked off, I got really nervous. It was hot. It was sweaty. The air was slightly stagnant. And I could feel the red wine seeping through my pores and pulsing through my veins. So it’s gonna be one of those types of classes, I thought to myself.
Fortunately, after the warm-up period, our instructor turned the fans on. Now, I’m not a religious person, but: Thank. God. The rest of the class was pleasant and well-circulated from there.
7. Kale lemonade. Not long after I thought I was going to pass out from heat, the craving began. Kale lemonade. I knew I could get it from a little luncheonette–Hip City Veg–just a couple of blocks away from the yoga studio, and I spent the majority of the class just imagining the first sip.
8. That mushy feeling. I often find that the intentions set by instructors at the beginning of a yoga class are (not to sound like an a-hole) but really dumb. To my surprise, I happened to really enjoy the simple message of Saturday’s class. In short, our instructor asked us to “be the caterpillar” — a creature which already has all of the tools needed within it to transform into butterfly form.
When’s the last time you practiced at a yoga studio? What gets you out the door and into down dog, and what makes your class memorable (or not)?