For the past two years I've been trying to become healthier and lose weight. The first stage has been to focus on diet, as exercise wasn't easy given how badly I'd let myself go. For the past few months though, as my weight has got to a respectable level, I've been keen to try out new ways of keeping active. The more weight I lose, the easier this has become, and I've managed to introduce new ways to exercise I wouldn't have dreamed of even last year.
One of these ways is yoga. The thought of trying it when carrying too much weight was a nightmare. How on earth would I be able to lift my hefty frame? Yoga isn't for blokes like me, I thought. Everyone I've ever met who practices yoga even remotely seriously is super-thin and toned. I'd never met anyone of my (current) bulk who ever mentioned yoga.
Yoga really wasn't for me, was it? A middle-aged unfit bloke?
The first thing that made me think it might be was finding the book Yoga for Regular Guys. This is a book by the pro-wrestler, Diamond Dallas Page which is now so rare in physical format that it will set you back upwards of £200. It's an amusing book that discusses his passion for making more regular guys take up yoga. It did the job of demystifying much of the spiritual side of yoga that might also put others like me off (I'm a rabid atheist).
What I really needed though was a place to be a taught how to practice yoga properly. In late August 2013 I took the plunge and sought out the right place for me to take my first yoga steps. I wanted somewhere near my workplace (Glasgow city centre) and that seemed accessible. I found Merchant City Yoga via Google, and made contact. Judi, the owner, was so warm and friendly that it took away much of the fear I had of going along, and when I visited for my first class, I felt right away that yoga could fit in with my life. Since my first couple of group classes I've been focusing on one-on-one classes to really concentrate on my technique. I learn better this way, having successfully used this method for learning to swim this year.
I'll be using this blog, then, to track my experiences with yoga and hopefully show how it's helping me in my goal of getting healthier, and becoming a calmer person. I'll reflect on new asanas learned, and how specific asanas have made me feel. Hopefully what we'll see is a new me developing.
I hope anyone reading enjoys my ramble along this exciting new path for me.
In the next post I'll reflect on my first month of practice, what I've learned so far, and what I feel it's done for me to date.