Friday, October 12, 2007

Yoga with Tara Stiles, Ford Model


This week: twists

Check out Tara's myspace here.

People ask me all the time: Randolphus, are you really into yoga or what? And isn't it mostly for chicks?

I used to be really hardcore into lifting weights and going to the gym, in fact, I started seeing a massage therapist because I was having shoulder and neck and back problems. A lot of it coming from sitting in front of a computer for 10 hours a day, and also from weight training. Anyway, my massage therapist recommended that I go do yoga as a way to enhance my flexibility. So I went to my first class. I thought I was in pretty good shape, but by the end of that first session, I found out that there was a LOT of muscle groups that I wasn't really using. Some of the poses I had real problems with at first and my competitive instincts made me want to push hard. But the instructor made an effort to NOT do that "find the balance between effort and ease" she said. I've been hooked since that day.

I started going 3-4 times a week, I tried different studios, different styles and different instructors. It was a whole new experience and I'm still learning, I only wish I had discovered yoga earlier in life.

If you are looking to try yoga here's a couple of tips:

  1. Try different studios and instructors-There are a number of different studios in my area (San Diego is a big city, if you live in a rural area your options might be limited), each with a different atmosphere and different intructors who each have their own style. You should feel comfortable in your practice.
  2. Don't get competitive with the person next to you, or across the room from you. It's not a contest like seeing how much you can bench press, or leg squat. Focus inward and on that "balance between effort and ease"
  3. Pay attention to how you are breathing during the poses
  4. Don't be afraid to ask questions and don't be afraid to use the props (straps, blocks, etc.)
Lastly, I will say that the female to male ratio at the studio I frequent is usually around 2 to 1 and remarkably they all are models like Tara (just kidding about the last part). It is a fringe benefit, attending class regularly, you will definitely meet some interesting people and get to chat with them before and after class. Everyone has the shared experience of spending an hour in a room sweating together. So everyone can relate.

So definitely try yoga, it's good for you, you get to learn something new, and you get to meet interesting people. What else is there?

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