Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hot Yoga, Kayaking, and Other Miscellaneous Adventures


"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."

- Steve Jobs


Maybe it's the umpteenth move in as many years.

Maybe it's mid-life barreling down on me.

Or maybe it's just that I no longer care what anybody else thinks about me or my life choices...

Whatever the impetus, the fact is, I've decided to branch out and begin trying new things - like hot yoga, for example.

My daughter encouraged me to try yoga a couple of years ago. She said it would be good for my back because it strengthens your core. She showed me some basic stretches, then we took a few classes together, tried some at-home DVDs and You Tube videos, even developed our own personal practice of stretches and strengthening exercises. I was happy with my yoga practice, and moving here we joined a local gym that offered classes for an extra fee. I wasn't going to sign up because the gym also offered plenty of other types of classes included in the membership, but over Labor Day they offered a free yoga class. I showed up expecting a regular yoga class. What I got was Hot Yoga instead.

Let me tell you, Hot Yoga is a totally different animal.

I'll spare you the sweaty details but suffice it to say I've never felt "cleaner" in my life than after a 90 minute sauna sesh of getting my downward dog on...

I really didn't think I was going to like it. Turns out it's kind of addicting. My preconceived notions of what hot yoga looked and felt like had to be adjusted. My paradigm shifted. Not because it's trendy, but because of how it made me feel and what it did for my sense of well-being. When I started taking the classes I had no idea it was all the rage... Now I feel kinda hipster-ish just for doing it, but I love it so much I'm willing to take the eye rolling and judgy stares and just keep doing my eagles and triangles and pidgeon poses.

Let's face it, the Pacific Northwest is kinda hipster-ish anyway, so to live here you kind of have to embrace it and be somewhat "outdoorsy". There's just too much natural beauty not to be. There are countless rivers to navigate, fish, and ski on, mountains to climb, trails to hike... There just seems to be no end to the possibilities for the adventurous in spirit. I've always been adventurous on the inside, but life and raising four kids kind of put a lid on it for a while.

Well, I'm popping the top on that bad boy.

Last weekend I took an "Intro To Kayaking"class at the local marina.

Let me tell you, I had no idea kayaking was a full body sport. It hurts worse than yoga!



I mean, these were sea kayaks so I guess they're a lot different than the recreational version. These suckers were narrow and like 17 feet long with a curved hull like a canoe but streamlined.

Designed to cut through the open waters. Also designed to tip over like a weeble that actually does fall down. Except this weeble gets wet and then has to hoist its cookies back into said tippy vessel. It was interesting. The instructor kept referring to our heads as bowling balls and reminding us that the hips could move, but the bowling ball had to stay centered or the kayak goes over in an instant. Some of our class members demonstrated this tipping technique fairly quickly :) 

At the end of a seven hour class I had pain from the bottom of my legs to the top of my shoulders and everywhere in between. But strangely enough, I also got the idea that I might really like one of those 17 foot things strapped to the top of my new Subaru... It was a blast! 

Two brand new experiences, both ended up being a thumbs up... Now, maybe a tattoo? ;)