Yoga, Fitness & Meditation

While I have no problem with being big, I got tired of being fat, so five weeks ago I decided to restart my own fitness program by counting calories and doing some form of exercise with regularity. Two years ago I lost about 40 pounds doing exactly the same, so I know it is possible if I set myself a schedule and follow it through. Having climbed back up to 351 pounds, I simply had to, period.

The day I was to start my exercise routine, I woke up with some minor back pain that got exacerbated during the day, so instead of doing the boot camp video I had planned, instead I did the intro to yoga one. Now, for years my wife has been trying to get me to do yoga. I had nothing against it, but didn’t think it was for me. I pretty much actively refused to even consider it, probably getting derisive at times as well. I guess it’s all about timing. After doing this 1-hour introductory routine I was beat: my muscles ached, I was sweaty and breathing as if I’d run a mile. Furthermore, the pain in my back was gone, and I felt great. I decided I would do it again the next day.

That was 5 weeks ago, and I’ve done that routine pretty much every day since. I dusted off my yoga mat, got myself a strap to help with some poses, and have been reading up on yoga topics in a way which my wife charmingly calls obsessive. I do this.

It was all a matter of timing. This time around, yoga has worked for me in a variety of ways that have made me really latch on to it as more than just a fat-burning routine. As classes started and my schedule ramped up once more after a brief vacation, I found that I was dealing better with the stress and having less tension stored in my body. That alone would be reason enough to continue practicing. Add the 16 pounds I have lost from the combination of exercise and calorie-counting, and this is here to stay.

In addition, I have begun to look into other aspects of yoga, namely the meditation side of it. The biggest problem I could foresee was dealing with any religious part stemming from yoga’s Hindu origins, which while I may appreciate on a scholarly level, simply are the incompatible with Judaism. Turns out I had a solution in my library, a book I bought 10 years ago precisely for this moment, Gifts of Abraham by Audi Gozlan, as well as Jewish Meditation by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan (both of which I will read and review).

I did this whole I-don’t-wanna-do-or-know-about-it-ohh-this-is-awesome-and-I-love-it routine once before, with bicycling, and those who know me and have read this blog/follow me in social media know how central to my life bicycling has become. I’m looking forward to this being yet another part of the person I am and seek to become. I’ll have more to say about yoga and fitness in general as time goes on.


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