As part of my ongoing quest to improve my overall health, I am getting back into the habit of practicing yoga, an activity the younger me dismissed with a scoff and thought was reserved for men with ponytails and women with names like Cheyenne and Xanthipe. When I finally visited a yoga studio for the first time back in 2011, I was pleasantly surprised that only one of the attendees had dreadlocks, and that the essential oil of choice was patchouli AND lavender.
Pictured: A woman with a totally normal name
Kidding aside, my initial foray into yoga was surprisingly invigorating and one of the most fulfilling challenges I’ve ever experienced, bumping high school football two-a-days into second place as the most physically taxing thing I’ve ever done (third is not crying at the end of Saving Private Ryan.) The month-long inaugural jaunt into the world of down-dog and warrior’s pose was that of hot yoga, which (for a person who sweats like a whore in church on the equator next to a radiator in July,) was, at times, mentally taxing and always causing me to expand my physical limits and pain thresholds.
The point here is that, while many of the things I thought I’d see were seen, it doesn’t take away from the benefits I receive(d) from taking up yoga, and it’s been an excellent supplement to my health & fitness regime that I combine with weight training and conditioning.
Don’t let the super-fit, cocky, bulgy bro with tribal tats and the lean, gorgeous vixen who cuts her eyes at you if you so much as look in her general vicinity deter you from starting a practice that’ll add inches to your height, help you sleep better, and improve your cardiovascular system IMMENSELY. At one point, even they were the awkward, grimacing-in-pain novice who were struggling to balance themselves on a mat,too.
Manner is a huge fan/complainer of yoga, but highly recommends Big Fish Power Yoga in Jacksonville.