I know what the average eventer reading this title must be thinking: “Yoga?? I can barely reach down to zipper my boots!”
Trust me, that was my first thought, too.
One of my good friends and fellow eventers, Taylor, has always wanted to try yoga, and when I said “sure” to her invitation of going with her, she seemed a little shocked. I definitely do not consider myself the most flexible person, which I think is part of the reason of why she asked me (she is not flexible either).
The studio we went to, called CorePower Yoga, advertises their classes as more of a workout than what you would typically think of yoga as, which did entice me, because I love a good core workout.
They also have a perk where your first week of classes is free, which gave us even less of an excuse not to go. Although, I wondered who would go to a yoga class every single day for a week when you’ve most likely never done yoga before?? The only downside was that the class was in Baltimore, about 45 minutes away from us (and in a congested area) and if you are under 18 you need a parent or guardian to go with you. So, my amazing mom agreed to go with Taylor and me after a
little lot of convincing, despite the distance.
Finalizing the day and time only took about 3,495 messages back and forth between Taylor and me, then we were ready to go. My only goal for the class was to not make a complete fool of myself. So, as you can tell, I had pretty low standards.
On the drive down, Taylor said she looked up different yoga poses and had already practiced them at home. In my head I was just thinking, great… all I know is downward dog and child’s pose and I haven’t done yoga since gym class last year and that wasn’t even real “yoga,” but still, I kept an open mind and went in planning to do the best I could, and if I hated it I would just never go back. I wish you could say that about more things in life!
When we arrived at the Rotunda, where the yoga studio was located in Baltimore, you could immediately tell it was an upscale area. There was an organic grocery store, luxury apartments, a movie theater that serves you food at your seat, a fountain in the center of the shops along with some food truck type things, and many trendy restaurants, including a sushi bar and a french fry place. And you will never guess what was right next to the yoga studio… a gourmet cinnamon roll shop, of course! Anyone who knows me knows that I made the decision right then and there to go after class.
Anyway, we went in the studio, and were warmly welcomed. We got an explanation of where everything was, and a little bit of what to expect. We picked up our mats and towels, dropped off our stuff in the locker room, and off to the studio we went! (But first we had to ask the lady at the desk where the studio was again because we had already forgotten. Whoops! It was, after all, our first time in a yoga studio.)
The studio was still warm from the last class, which was heated, and it actually felt nice as I was stretching. My mom and Taylor made fun of me because I was just doing normal stretches, not “yoga” stretches. But the joke’s on them because I was more flexible than them anyway!
We kept watching people come in, and it was a range from middle aged people to moms to older people, but no one who came in looked super jacked or anything, much to our relief.
Finally it was time to start class, and I have to say at first I was holding back giggles when the instructor turned the music on and called certain types of breathing weird names. But as we got into it, I started to focus more. I spent most of the class kind of just looking around to see how other people were doing the poses she was naming. Thank goodness there were people who had a clue what they were doing.
Parts of the class were quite challenging while others weren’t. The most challenging sequence for me was one that included chair pose, which we had to hold for a while. It felt like minutes, but in all reality it might have been 30 seconds. I was sweating almost like I would during a run or out on cross country.
Overall, I am glad that I went to the class, and I did enjoy it. I can see how yoga could help with riding, especially with balance, core, and overall muscle development. If I can find a class closer to me, I will definitely go again!
Of course, I ruined everything I did in class by getting one of the gourmet cinnamon rolls afterwards. To be specific, we ordered a cinnamon roll topped with homemade cookie dough. At least we shared. But it was delicious, so to be honest I didn’t really care. Here’s to yoga and cinnamon rolls!