I do indeed go to Yoga classes twice a week. As part of my quest for distractions from depression, and to help with my knee issues as well I took the plunge 4 weeks ago and attended my first yoga class.
My expectations were that I would enter a class full of people tying themselves into knots while the fat bloke in the lycra (me!) could barely see his toes, let alone touch them!
I introduced myself to the instructor, a wonderful lady named Alex, and explained my muscle and joint issues to her, as well as my depression. She put my at ease by simply telling me to do as much as my body allowed and not to be too expectant of what I can and cannot do.
From the first five minutes I was hooked! Just sitting down cross legged, eyes closed and breathing slowly in and out seems such a simple thing to do BUT how many times do we simply do it? Never that’s how many times!
The whole hour of the class my mind in just focused on being able to get into some of the positions, not on anything to do with my mental health or the world outside the class. My attention is all on me and my breathing.
To be honest it feels amazing to actually be in tune with myself even for just an hour twice a week.
The other thing I love about yoga is that it really is a bloody hard workout! forget the running on the treadmill for an hour I sweat more in the yoga class than I do on the treadmill, well to be fair I do not sweat I glow but the whole body gets a workout, stretching my arms, legs and muscles in my stomach that I didn’t know I had!
Built into the workout is the knowledge that the time spent is all about me! breathing and letting go of my troubles and worries help greatly. I would go as far as saying that my depression has improved since I started going! I have also noticed that I am able to get further into stretches each time I go so it is also helping my flexibility and easing the pain in my knees as my hamstrings get a good work out.
As a distraction for depression, or other mental health illnesses I really cannot recommend yoga enough. The class is not full of skinny as a rake women with their legs over their heads easily going from one position to another, nor is it just for women! There are a few men in the classes with me, which is great for me to not feel like I stick out like a sore thumb.
Quiet time for the mind, deep breathing exploring myself and a hard physical workout! what more could you ask for?
Give it a try if there is a class near you. I promise you will enjoy it! and even if you don’t enjoy it what have you lost? an hour of your life is all.
Trying out something different is a string to my bow since I acknowledged my depression and decided to do something about it – if someone told me a few years ago I would not only be doing yoga but loving it I would have laughed at them.
My opinion is that people are missing a trick not attempting it at least once.