From high school years until now, my hobbies have remained pretty constant: reading, sports, shopping, music. Because of sports, I have always enjoyed being active, working out, et cetera. But in less than a year I have found another love! Don’t worry, y’all, still happily married. 🙂
Last summer, my best friend visited me and my family from California. She arrived in town a day before my son’s birthday party, so I was beyond excited to have another family member present for his celebration. She stayed for nearly a week, but as visits usually go, the time flew by. The day before she left, I was cruising through local events and found a post for aerial yoga. I had wanted to try for a while, and what better time to try than when my bestie was there to embarrass herself with me??!
When we walked in and saw the aqua blue hammocks hanging from the ceiling…we froze, our eyes met, and we cracked up into quiet laughter. “Lord Jesus,” I murmured to her under my breath as we kicked our sandals off, “What have we done?” She just laughed and encouraged me. “We can do this!” However, my friend was no stranger to traditional yoga. I was a newbie to it all. I shook my head and prayed I wouldn’t break a bone or my face. Even so, the instructor was so welcoming, that it took some nerves away. As we began, I am certain I have never looked or felt sillier in my life than when I first attempted to just SIT inside the hammock. In fact, I suspect that I resembled my dog when she falls asleep on her back, wakes up, and tries to pull up into a sitting position!!! My friend was doing better than I was, but her presence allowed me to relax, laugh (out loud) at myself, and take my time to maneuver into the correct position.
As we moved on through each move and pose, I was astounded at my ability to invert my body, extend my legs (somewhat), and let go into the pressure of the hammock. Many of the poses were uncomfortable. The instructor acknowledged this, with the promise that, after a few sessions, the pressure would be a welcomed feeling. I laughed out loud at that one– but I could not deny the sense of pride I felt to have achieved something that seemed ludicrous for someone as out of shape as I was (am); and to have had a blast doing it. The ambiance, the calmness, and mostly, the non-judgmental culture of the room gave me a feeling of contentment. It was nearly a feeling of deja vu, although I’d never set foot in the place until that moment; I should have BEEN a part of this space! Even though my skills were a long way off, I was excited and determined at the prospect of practicing to conquer the most difficult poses. It was equally gratifying to have tried something new with my best friend of 30 years! It’s an experience we will always share and remember together, which means even more now that we live far apart.
Fast forward to less than a year later….
LOOK AT ME NOW! (in my Chris Breezy voice)
HAHA! Yeah I still need practice but I am proud of my progress, y’all.
So now, aerial yoga is my weekly treat. I live for my down dogs, in a quiet room, with the company of other ladies who just want to relax, stretch, and focus on themselves for an hour. The end of the session is by far my favorite. We lie completely inside the hammock (like a taco) and receive a lavender oil temple rub under extra dimmed lights, the vibe of sandman style music, and the guided imagery of our instructor’s lulling voice. Best 10 minute power nap I’ve ever had! My instructor was also correct when she said one day I would welcome the pressure…
The goddess wrap is the TRUTH!
Another great thing about my new found hobby is that I am reminded it is NEVER too late to try something new, conquer it perfect it, and GROW in it. I always attributed anything yoga-related to a person with extreme patience and flexibility. I am admittedly an impatient person who does not enjoy being the one in the class who is “behind.” In this atmosphere, simply breathing and closing my eyes shuts away the day, worries, and insecurities. If you’re doing it right, you don’t notice anyone else in the room anyway. Who knew that I could learn so much from hanging upside down?
DO that thing you’ve been wanting to try! Maybe you’ll hate it, or maybe you’ll make room in your schedule to make it a part of every week. Even if you hate it, it usually feels good to try something new…and could help open your mind to do something ELSE you never thought you would.
If you do have an unexpected hobby, or something new you’re trying out, sound off below! I would love to hear from you 🙂