With all the work to make Christmas gifts, I've been spending a lot of time sitting at the sewing machine. I can really tell the difference when I'm not active. Granted, I'm not a gym rat in the best of times, but being sedentary combined with the holiday stress has really slowed me down. Normally I'm pretty comfortable in my skin. I'm relatively flexible, strong, and can keep up with my friends if we go walking all day without really thinking about it. Of course, I'm still (barely) under 30, so that might change :-)
Yesterday I was feeling stagnant and stiff, so I broke out the Yoga videos that have been collecting dust since I bought them during my "dieting years". My last encounter with Yoga involved someone telling me to do a shoulder stand, at which point I gave them the evil eye and said "My fat ass is NOT going up in the air like that. You guys have fun." Probably for the best, since it's pretty likely I'd come out of it with a neck injury.
This was a Yoga for beginner's DVD, and instead of just diving in full-bore like I would have a few years ago (gotta get my heart rate up, feel the burn, it doesn't work if it doesn't hurt, etc.) I started out with the pose guide and just concentrated on them one at a time. I watched the pose as the tiny superflex-chick on the video did it, then I paid attention to my body and adapted the pose to something I could do without excessive strain. I tried for what they described as the purpose of the pose (elongating the spine, stretching through the arm or leg, etc.) and worked on internal cues to accomplish the same thing in adaptation. Sure, my feet weren't three feet apart in the triangle pose, and my hand was on a rest instead of the floor, but I still stretched from the spine and expanded the rib cage. Isn't that really the point?
At any rate, my usual cycle was throwing myself into a new activity one day, then hurting so much the next day that I was discouraged and tried something else. This time I can feel the difference. I feel stronger and more balanced. My body remembers the good posture I had before I got caught up in the holidays, and I'm aware that the muscles are still there where I left them, if a little dormant :-)
The question is, of course, since I know there's a lot of people in the fatosphere that do Yoga, is there something I'm doing specifically wrong by adapting the poses? Is the end result more important than the precise pose, or is there something about a pose that I could miss entirely by changing it? Of course, the goal is to eventually work my way to the pose as depicted as I regain flexibility, but I'm assuming it isn't important enough to risk damaging something.