logisticslad: (Default)
I was able to do the pose called Half-Moon in yoga class tonight for the first time:


I'm very proud of myself!
logisticslad: (Default)
Despite several obstacles, I made myself return to Monday night yoga class at my gym. The teacher had been out on maternity leave and I hadn't clicked with any of her subs. I recently heard that she was back after having had a baby girl. I was a bit rusty, but was very glad to be back. I was pleased to see that the upperbody work that I have been doing at the gym has allowed me to hold the Downward Dog position for much longer. I felt great after the class and plan to keep going. It's good for my spirit as well as my body.
logisticslad: (Default)
So tonight at Yoga our regular teacher's sub needed a sub, so we had a new teacher. She and I did not click at all. She went through the moves very fast and did not provide adequate warmup, for me at least. Plus, she played bouncy music and her overall tone was too upbeat rather than relaxing. She got the job done, but I simply did not enjoy it. I would not take another class with her. Oh well :-( At least I went.
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Both J. and I had stopped going to our Monday night yoga class for about 6 weeks while J. had been dealing with the decline and death of his partner. We returned to class last week, and it was very hard to get back up to speed. J. is still dealing with his own health issues (vertigo) and isn't well enough yet to go regularly, so I went without him last night. It was worth it, but by 40 min into it, I simply could not make my body do any more. The great thing about this class is that the teacher routinely says that one should listen to one's body and only push if it feel right to do so. She also presents alternate forms to do, if what she is doing is too hard or tiring for members of the class. So I felt like I had full permission to rest when I needed to, and that gave me enough energy to make it through to the end. Since it's the beginning of the year, there are a lot of new members to the class, which gives it a different feel, but it's still good. The instructor makes a point of personally connecting with each class member at some point during the class (anything from a simple, "Hi, I'm glad you could make it." to a whispered, "If you move your arm this way, it will help with your balance while attempting Half Moon."). She also reminds us that we are not competing with each other, and that everyone has limits on what their bodies can do. Her teaching style totally works for me.

So last night, we worked on High Runner's Lunge, Warrior I, and Thunderbolt, which are all related forms that involve strength in the legs and core muscles. Then we did Dancing Warrior, which requires balancing on one leg (which I am usually pretty good at doing, but not so much last night). After every variation, we would do a set of vinyasa flow moves that took us through Plank, Cobra or Up Dog, and then Downward Dog. I simply do not have enough strength in my upper body to do Downward Dog for very long, so I often do Puppy Dog instead and track my progress by noticing how much my time in Downward Dog increases over the classes. I have found that sitting on a block helps give me the extra room to do a number of things from a seated position that I do not yet have the flexibility to do. I find that I can do Supported Bridge with no problem, and am now working on Wheel. I was able to do Level 3 Boat last night and that is something I was very proud of, since it requires major core strength in order to achieve. Class always ends with us laying down on our mats, doing some cool down stretches, and relaxing with our eyes closed. It is my favorite part of the class (no not because it is the end, but because of how good it feels to acknowledge and thank my body for having done all it could do through the class). This is the meditative part of yoga that does work for me.

I am really enjoying being back in yoga class!!!
logisticslad: (Default)
I've been doing the yoga class at the gym for three months now and tonight I was able to achieve several poses that I simply could not do before. I've been learning how to lengthen my spine and control my abs so as to increase my core flexibility and I made a breakthrough. I can now bend and fold myself over much more, despite my tummy being in the way. I also was able to hold the Boat pose at level three for the first time! That is the one where you balance on your butt on the floor and make a V with your torso and your legs holding your arms out. I now have enough core strength to be able to do it. It felt great! I was also able to achieve parts of Warrior Three and Dancing Warrior, both of which involve balancing on one leg and floating the arms and the other leg in interesting ways. My balance is pretty good, but these poses definitely challenge it. I was also able to do Fish (another one that needs major core strength) for the first time tonight, too. I love the relaxed feeling that I have at the end of the class and tonight I also left with a feeling of quiet pride.
logisticslad: (Default)
My gym buddy and I tried a second yoga class last night called Stress Relief Yoga. In this class, everyone sat in a circle and the instructor created a kind of ritual space within which we were supposed to relax and meditate. Then we did some of the poses at a much slower pace and level of intensity than in the other class. The positions actually felt easy to do after our three weeks of experience in the other class. I felt like this instructor had something to teach, but that I wasn't interested in learning it from her. I didn't connect with her teaching style and I felt like I had been participating in a ritual without my full consent. I am much more comfortable with a more athletic, physically demanding approach to yoga through which I can choose to concentrate on the spiritual aspects or not at my option. That's actually very similar to my approach to dancing. While I'm aware that I am resistant to the spiritual/meditative aspect of yoga, I don't think that I'll return to this class any time soon. I feel like I got what the class offers, but that it wasn't for me.


Jul. 4th, 2006 02:43 pm
logisticslad: (Default)
I tried my first Yoga class at the gym last night and had a good time and a good workout! It was fun! I was surprised at how much I could actually do (or at least come close to doing). I clearly have a long way to go to be any good at it, but the point is to do something that makes me feel good about myself. My biggest challenge will be maintaining regular breathing. That's not something that I've ever been good at, but it seems like working on it could go a long way to helping me feel more relaxed and centered. The teacher was great and she suggested several alternate forms for those of us who were unable to do the ones that she was presenting. For example, I learned how to do "Puppy Dog" in place of "Downward Dog." Halfway through, I was sure that I'd never make it to the end of class, but she switched gears and had us sitting or laying down so I made it through. My back felt great and every muscle felt tired. I felt exhausted by the end of it, but had a great sense of accomplishment. I'll be back next week!


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