The title might also be the same name as a Justin Bieber song, but I’m not certain. I’m terribly behind on popular culture. Case in point: something happened with Kim Kardashian last year, but I’m not entirely sure what – a photo or something. I don’t understand, however, how a picture of Kim K was big news, but I digress…
Let’s go back in time.
2007. After a workout with my tennis team. The NYC Marathon is on TV and I had no idea it was even happening that weekend. Lance Armstrong is running it, again, and I remember thinking “if someone who has won the Tour de France 7 times thinks the marathon is hard [he also ran it in 2006] then I am never doing one.”
In fact, at the time, I didn’t even like running. 3 miles was an ETERNITY to me. You can ask anyone who played tennis with me. I even dreaded the warm up jog each day and that was only a half a mile max. I always told people that I “just wasn’t a runner.”
Fast forward to 2009 and my now former teammate, Erika, proceeded to make a giant liar out of me by getting me hooked on running. I’m now six marathons deep and can’t imagine my life without running, which seems more of part of me rather than something I do.
Fast forward to present day. New scenario: yoga.
I’ve tried yoga a handful of times in my life. So few, in fact, that I could probably count the times I’ve tried yoga on one hand.
Yoga and I never really vibed. I don’t know if it was the general silence, the perceived seriousness, my lack of flexibility or knowledge, or that Mercury was in retrograde or something, but I just never enjoyed it. As such, I was never really compelled to go back because I already had enough outlets that were fun for me. Spin! Running! Pilates! Instagramacizing! I could easily fill a day and empty a bank account with exercise.
And, I like being introspective, but not terribly introspective. I mean, I’m not the Dalai Lama. And, I sort of like my life and didn’t like how yoga always made me think I had to not like something and “let go of it” or something like that. I like what I do outside of work to be fun, playful, and, truthfully, slightly aggressive and challenging. And, yoga was just never those things to me like running was.
My friend, Ali, has been talking up a storm about Lyon’s Den Power Yoga, which was started by one of my favorite SoulCycle instructors, Bethany. Ali even went so far as to say it changed her life and that she, too, wasn’t a yogi before. Ali’s claims were corroborated by several other friends (Dani, Jaws, GB) or Twitter friends (Meaghan) so I thought about giving it a shot.
I’m on this beautiful 2nd year rotation right now, called the Magical World Of Ultrasound (ok, just “ultrasound,” but it truly is a magical 4 weeks with Dr. Timor, who is the Dumbledore of Ultrasound, if you will), and work “only” 40 hours a week or so. So, what better time to try something new?
So, Friday night, I took myself down Tribeca to give it a go.
And, I loved it.
Bethany started class saying something along the lines of “who gives a shit” and “the worst thing is that you fall on your mat trying something new” and I immediately thought “this is yoga for me.”
Come to find out, Bethany’s studio is Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga. I’m sure there’s a better, more formal definition of what this is but, to me, its fast and athletic. You move from one pose to the next quickly. And, I’m not sure if its the style or the culture Bethany is creating, but, at Lyon’s Den, you kick up into that dancer’s pose like you own it and don’t care if you look like a decrepit dancer or slightly squashed bug while doing it. Flip your dog (or whatever its called) into a backbend and, if you fall, that’s actually the worst thing that can happen and its ok. And, I loved that.
I liked it so much, I went back on Saturday to take Terri’s class (that’s two days in a row, for anyone keeping count – more than I went to yoga in all of 2014). Bethany was taking that class and even still she was pushing people to try something new. I was floored by how she’s really committed to helping other people push themselves even if she’s not teaching.
Moreover, I learned that maybe I’m just not one of those people where slowing down physically also slows my mind down. I’m frenetic at baseline – its probably why I was drawn to obstetrics and gynecology. For me, moving quickly – like running, spinning, etc – helps to slow my mind down and focus. And, I found the same at Lyon’s Den.
Maybe it’s a quarter life crisis. Maybe its the start of seasonal affective disorder. Maybe its just a case of the New Year’s resolutions. But, dare I say, I like yoga?
I know, its weird for me, too.
TELL ME: SOMETHING NEW YOU’VE TRIED IN THE LAST 5 YEARS THAT YOU NOW CAN’T IMAGINE LIVING WITHOUT.
And, for the record, I’m going back tomorrow.
I’m also going to start entering the lottery more often, because I need to win it to pay for all of this.
Until next time…