My whole life, I've convinced myself that gym classes are not for me. Broken down that essentially means, "I don't want to do something that hurts or have someone push me to go farther, so I don't do it." What I've learned is that these classes are perfect for motivating semi-lazy people like me.
While I was waiting for the class to start, I was shocked by the people showing up. First a man who looked like one of my friend's fathers arrived. Then another man came, his arms full of tattoos. Hmm, didn't expect that. Then another man arrived with his own yoga mat tied in a cute little bow. Well, I guess I did expect that. But wait, there aren't any women!! Finally I asked one of the guys, "Um, is this a class for the ladies too?" He laughed and said he hoped so.
Finally, our instructor arrived and he was a sweet looking guy dressed in casual pants and a flannel shirt. He took off his glasses and begin giving us poses to do in a soothing and relaxing tone. This class was Vinyasa Yoga, which I've discovered means "breath-synchronized movement." The whole focus is breathing, and the instructor took us from one pose to another emphasizing the need to inhale or exhale.
All I have to say is I can't believe I didn't do this years ago, especially when I worked in the stressful television news industry. I found the experience to be relaxing, purifying and confidence-building. My body did poses I didn't think were possible which totally rocks and makes me feel like a 20-year old.
Next step: spinning. It totally scares me, but it's the year to try it.