Yoga Time!

First created on 5th Oct 2005.

I decided to take up exercising because I can start to feel the effect due to lack of exercise. Young folks do fine with or without exercise, but age has caught up with me. Luckily, this time he only issued me a warning ticket!

Being the potato couch sort of person, I need to join a class for the motivation. Just nice, one such program came along. My company's clubhouse was looking for people to fill up a new yoga class (there are 3 to 4 classes per week), so I decided to join. Yoga! How strenuous can it be, isn't it just stretching?

The first question most colleagues asked is, "Isn't 5 pm still working hours?" Yup, the lesson is from 5 to 6 pm. I thought it was pretty normal; after all, we are allowed to knock off at 5 pm (as early as 4:30 pm, in fact).

So, what's yoga like? After seven lessons, I must say I'm slightly disappointed that it is mainly stretching. Also, I'm struck that most poses are so un-yoga like!

Here, I'll show some stances that are more yoga-like. :-)

No, I'm not learning ballet dancing. You are supposed to balance and twist your body to one side as much as you can. You can't really twist much without losing your balance.

This is how we were taught, but the instructor later told me that the leg is much higher in the actual stance.

Posing: simple. Holding: simple.

One knee is supposed to be at a right angle, the other knee is not touching the ground.

Held this as the instructor went round the class correcting our stances. Very simple to do, but hard to hold for long.

Posing: simple. Holding: hard.

Another simple pose. You're supposed to press your head down as much as possible. One knee is right-angled and the other leg is supposed to be straight. I made a mistake here because the other knee is definitely not supposed to be on the ground!

Again, the instructor likes to go around the class correcting our postures. Must be purposely one.

He said the pose is very relaxing. He must be doing it wrongly! :-D

Posing: simple. Holding: very hard.

Curl yourself into a ball and roll back on your spine, column-by column!

This one either you can do it or you can't. Most thin people have a hard time because they cannot curl enough. This is one of the few stances I'm better than the girls! :-)

Posing: simple. Holding: simple.

Lie down and move your legs slowly all the way back to the head! It's simple as long as you can let go of the fear of twisting your head. You're supposed to keep the legs straight, but I can't do that.

Posing: medium. Holding: simple.

Follow on from the previous stance. Lift your leg up slowly until it's straight up.

My pose is not correct. The hands are supposed to be on the ground for support, and then if you can, lift the hands up so that they are pointing upwards too. It's pretty hard to breath and balance.

The entire body is supposed to be supported by your shoulders! You can see here that my body is not straight, so obviously I can't let go of my hands. Again, the fear factor is there. Proceed very slowly.

Posing: hard. Holding: hard.

What I nicknamed the "Ha Ma Gong", or the toad stance, from Return of the Condor Heroes.

Surprisingly, it doesn't require much strength if you are in balance. But usually you're not. The target for beginners is to hold the pose for more than 10 seconds, which I managed to do before my brain registered how difficult it was.

Posing: hard. Holding: medium.

I love this stance, it's the most yoga like of all! Plus, I'm very good at it! ^_^

I'm much better on my right leg than left. I can achieve perfect balance on my right leg, whereas I need to wiggle here and there with my left leg.

Posing: simple. Holding: simple.

One thing you may have noticed is that I'm in my regular work clothes! That's right, I do yoga in my regular clothes, without the belt and socks, of course! I actually went to the first lesson in my jeans! It's doable, I don't see why people think it cannot be done. I didn't want to buy track pants because I wasn't sure if I'll wear them more than 12 times. :-)

There are several stances that I've forgotten, but I'll add them when I remember them. Also, the instructor will introduce one or two new stances per lesson.

More yoga poses


Camera: Dynax X60

ISO 200

Auto color temperature, that's why there is the yellowish color cast.