It’s a mantra used in yoga. In brief, it is a sound that resonates in the body and this vibration helps you meditate and activate the energy in your body and spirit.
And, I haven’t been practising yoga for so long, or so into esoteric stuff that something like that would resonate with me. But it does. I was quite shocked myself when I felt this weird vibrations when I was chanting, which felt strangely… good. They felt like I was resonating with the universe. How freaking mindbogglingly odd is that? So there I was, yoga class. Chanting. Sweaty. Did I mention it was a hot yoga studio, aka at 30-35 C? Does this sound like something I, child of the north, would do? Yes, actually. very enjoyable experience. I’m so hipster.
But I do like yoga. I was never a PE fanatic and I still hate running. Let’s be honest, being so exhausted you feel like puking your lungs out (and you would if that way the feeling would stop) is not something nice. Team sports are cool, you run for a purpose, there is fun in it, there is more people around you, the exercise is more eclectic. I like that. I suck at them, true. But I like the idea and if I were slightly more coordinated I might even not suck so much.
Back to yoga. I started when I started the new job last summer at Discovery communications. They had subsidised yoga classes at 8 am (geez, that was hard, let me tell you) and I went for a couple of months. It was a great way to start the day and a great introduction to the discipline. Got to meet some colleagues while I learnt how to pretend to be 3 different kinds of warrior and minimise the pain of my first 9 to 5 job. Seriously, 5 days a week 9 to 5 sitting. That’s torture, still killing me slowly.
Now I am going to a studio, very nice and cosy. I must say the first class was a 90 min intense hot yoga that almost had me sitting down for that whole week. If your appearance doesn’t match your fitness estate many people think you are complaining without a reason. But nope. Big nope. My muscles had stretched so much I could’t even touch my toes anymore…
I think I got lost along the way with what I wanted to say with this post. Yoga is a great exercise, helping body and mind. Giving you physical space to fall back into your natural position and mental space to relax and be grounded on what you are feeling at the moment. You should try it. It might not be for you if you are a runner or a bit hyper, and, like with everything, you need practice before you can see results in terms of strength (this is the basic movement on yoga flows, called chaturanga) and elasticity. A powerful yet gentle workout. The great thing, I believe, is that you can repeat the same flows and always engage and workout regardless of your experience; a deeper stretch here, a few more seconds holding the position there. Seeing your progress is great!
The community is great as well. There are always ‘posers’, you can find them everywhere (gym, street, parties, work, reflection in the mirror), but mostly I have found them to be very gentle chill people who have a higher degree of spirituality than I have and thus have a higher level of inner peace. They are much closer to nirvana. Although still predominantly women, I was surprised by the amount of men at the studio (around 20-25%). Pro tip: If you like something, freaking do it.
Basically, I am hooked. Join me, join the dark side.