First Take: COIL Yoga by Ashley McBride
When I think about yoga I think about deep breathing, stretching and peacefulness. When I was told I’d be attending a class with a premiere Yogi I thought about BooBoo and picnic baskets. Because I’m a grown up.
In all seriousness, Yoga has had a mystifying hold over me for years. From afar it seemed like something I would really enjoy; learning to breathe deeper while strengthening my body. My few experiences with it in the past were not great but I was open to giving it another chance.
Fast forward to the morning of my newest yoga experience. I am heading into it totally open minded and semi-excited until I am standing in my closet in front of my workout gear yelling out to my husband, “what do I even wear to yoga?” He replied “I dunno, yoga pants?” I had no time for such logic. I debated on if people doing yoga (yoga-ers? Yogurts?) wore just sports bras or tank tops too? Or maybe they wore long sleeves? Wait, do I need socks? I was full of questions so I settled on both a cute sports bra and a loose fitted crop top, grabbed my hot pink yoga mat and headed out the door sans socks. Then ran back inside and grabbed a sweatshirt and my water bottle.
Do you even need water at yoga? Do they let you drink water while you’re upside down? Sloths drink water upside down. Would Sloths be considered the yoga masters of the animal world?
they have a wonderful energy about them. They’re dimly lit, smell like a day spa and are filled with gentle speaking people
…I was clearly in a spiral.
Back in the car and headed to COIL Yoga which was home to Yogi Katie Flinn. I will say this much about yoga studios, they have a wonderful energy about them. They’re dimly lit, smell like a day spa and are filled with gentle speaking people. Which is perfect for me when I walk in, trip on the umbrella holder and cause a racket within moments of entering. Ah yes, nirvana is so in my future.
First the set up: Yoga, for those wondering, sometimes requires tools which are provided for you. Things like foam blocks, bolsters (blankets), tennis balls (this was new to me) and even straps. For minimalists they sure have a lot of stuff to carry but I digress. I chose a location to the side of the instructor to minimize being noticed. Heather, my trusty companion on this yoga venture, is on my right and a guy puts his mat down to my left. My first thought is that everyone is very close to one another. My second thought is wow, the instructor has the best posture I have ever seen in my life. I try to straighten myself up the way you did as a kid when the nuns told you stop slouching. Have you ever consciously tried to have good posture?
It is hard people, like really hard.
Anyways, class begins with a lot of breathing deeply and I notice that everyone’s energy in the room is very calm and happy. It feels like a nice place to be on a rainy Saturday morning.
Each movement is described by the instructor and then she walks through the room adjusting those of us who were not doing it just right. She always asked first if it was ok to touch us so needless to say I spent a lot of time saying “yes that’s fine” since I was rarely doing it right. Normally this would annoy me but I found it more encouraging than not as she would essentially show my body how to hold the position.
and then oh God, here comes the instructor and before I knew it I had flipped over backwards and ta-da I am now a Yogi too
A brief side note, there was a move that I won’t even begin to describe but it ended in a sort of back flip situation. Let’s be real, I haven’t done flips since well, ever so I didn’t even try it. (Totally allowed by the way, you don’t ever have to do anything you don’t want to do) As I laid there and watched Heather do it, and then the guy next to me do it, I started to get a real case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). So up went my legs and I bent and turned and moved my hand and then oh God, here comes the instructor and before I knew it I had flipped over backwards and ta-da I am now a Yogi too!
Ok, so that’s not how that works but I sure felt awesome about myself.
I was surprised to work up the kind of sweat that I did and as the class progressed I really started to enjoy doing something so out of my comfort zone. I would not have known who in the class was an expert and who was new like me, the whole thing just sort of flowed together which I’m guessing is the point.
Class ends with this pose where you basically play dead and they use essential oils on you with a quick neck massage which frankly, was worth the price of admission and felt like a beautiful reward for some really hard work.
When Heather and I walked out she mentioned that she always asks herself after a workout, does my body feel good? I could honestly say that mine did!
Four to six hours later…
Alright, so I’m sore already. Yoga, as it turns out, may not be my most favorite thing in the world but if offered the chance to go again I wouldn’t turn it down. Learning to breathe deeply and disconnect from the noise we are all surrounded by is a true talent and gift, one I have yet to master. I appreciate that so many people practice yoga with the intention of a clearer heart and mind. Those are two things certainly worth stretching for. See what I did there?
If you’re going to try yoga, take a friend. I was grateful to have someone to look at with giant eyes when there were sometimes unexpected noises coming from people who are deeply stretching. I’ll leave it at that.
Ladies, you should wear yoga pants and a sports bra but if you’re wearing a shirt, try and make sure it’s fitted. My loose fitting crop top flapped around in my face a lot.
They let you drink water from any direction you choose.
You don’t need socks.
Despite the fact that we breathe 23,040 times a day (yes I Googled that) Yoga is supposed to help you do it better and with more purpose. I don’t know about you, but I could use more of that in my life. That and maybe a pet sloth.
Second Take March 30, 2019 at Coil Yoga: HERE
Ashley McBride is a College Career Counselor by day, wife to her best friend Sean, and Mom to a tiny poodle named Margot. A Central Valley Native, she’s an avid indoor cyclist who loves to cook, laugh, gather friends and has a secret dream of being a stand up comedian. She hopes that anyone who’s ever struggled with depression and anxiety can find hope in her writing, or at least a good laugh.