Why I Love Ashtanga Yoga

So for those of you that know me fairly well, you know that I update my fairly consistent routines about every six months or so. For the past six months my newest fitness obsession is Core Fusion and Ashtanga Yoga classes at Exhale Spa (link provided above).

Being the conservative Christian girl that I am, most of you are thinking, "Cortney, in yoga? What is this?"

I began very open minded about the whole 'practice' as they call it, and have found it to be quite enjoyable. Core Fusion classes were an easy transition for me from my gym rat days because it's like dance, pilates, and weight training all rolled into one hour long kick-my-butt class.
But yoga? Now that took some getting used to.....but now I love it, and here's why.

17 Reasons Why I Love Yoga
by Cortney

1. At the end of class, we close by saying "Namaste". I say "Jesus" so that God won't think I am bowing to the porcelain Buddha sculpture next to the gong at the front of the room. I spend a lot of class time praying in my downward dog position so class also doubles as devotional time well spent.

2. All the dance and gymnastics I did for years makes me look like a pro when we do back bends and handstands, and allows me to make asshole comments to my peers like "yeah, and i only tried this six months ago...!" (kidding....or am i?)

3. I've learned Sanskrit. Or actually I've recognized what word goes with what action, leading me to believe that Pavlov's Dogs could have learned Sanskrit as well.

4. I can do crazy/ freaky stuff I've never known. I can balance solely on my forearms in about 4 different ways, only to find that it kind of creeps people out when I show them at parties.
5. Only in yoga is it acceptable to sweat and drip sweat profusely - girls included. In one particular teacher's class it is also acceptable to pass gas, as she calls this "the body's natural response to a release of stress". I'm gonna be honest, it is mostly elderly people who do this audibly during class, and it is REALLY hard to keep from snickering/ falling over in fits of uncontrollable laughter.

6. Do you have a needle and thread? Because my arms are gettin' ripped!

7. I can do a lot of pushups now - dare you to say "drop and give me 10"...make sure you add pushups, because I will tell you I don't carry cash if you don't specify.
8. Yoga is done bare-footed. Meaning that pedicures are a MUST from now on.

9. We meditate at the start and end of class. Any workout that includes essential relaxation is flippin' wonderful, because that's the only time I relax.

10. Sometimes I feel like I've entered a secret club, with a variety of members, who call themselves "yogis" and ask how the kindergarten musical went last night. :)
11. There is no one to impress or compete with other than myself. Yes, there are gorgeous girls there, whom I consider to be my role models. Oh and the guys there....well, with as flexible as they are it leaves the mind to wonder if they're checking out the teacher or the dude standing next to the teacher. :)

12. Class puts my way out of my element. It is the one part of my day where I literally have no contact with the outside world, and I cannot possibly exhibit any of my type A personality traits.

13. I usually get free massages. Yes, they call them adjustments, but I call them heavenly.

14. Although I'm improving, I'm challenged everyday. I never know what to expect, and I usually discover a new goal for my body every week.

15. I finally have something in common with the bohemian Scientologists of the world. This way, when I finally get the guts up to enter a vegetarian establishment alone, I will ALWAYS have a conversation starter above and beyond hummus recommendations.

16. I get to feel like a kid again. I'm actually encouraged to do backward rolls and handstands and see how far I can put my foot behind my head. And my peers will actually volunteer to spot me!
17. Yoga makes for an even ground. No jewelry, no bags, no shoes, just plain ol' people wearing 500 dollars worth of yoga gear on their bodies. A totally even ground, like I said. ;-)

Did I mention there was a gong? Sweet action.

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