Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year!

I took class on New Year's Day up at Hot Yoga Saratoga, about two hours north of where I live. my old, dear friend Judy teaches several classes a week there, and the stars and our schedules aligned last week to let me take her class. Yippee!!

It was my first class back in the hot room in over a month, since Nov. 29 when I went to a studio in San Diego. I'd done a couple of Ashtanga and one or two Anusara classes since with the lovely ladies at YogaToday, but there really is nothing like being in front of a mirror, body and ego bared, and ready to sweat out the issues in my tissues.

It was strange; Judy mentioned to one or two people that I was her friend, and one of them asked me if I was a teacher, too. My response surprised me: "Not yet." Where did that come from? Yoga in general, and teacher training in particular, have been so far from my mind lately...

Class was good. Packed, but good. I think I had a bit of an attitude when I went in, as I was upset about how snugly my top was fitting. When I weighed myself at my parents' house in San D at Thanksgiving, I was about about 15 pounds over my healthy weight, and about 20 from where I would really love to be (the same number as when I last wore that top). I kept repeating two words in my head: compassion, action. Respect where you are right now, and any limitations that might entail. Love your body for what it does for you, while actively making it healthier. I guess that's my New Year's mantra? (Are mantras allowed to be that long? That doesn't exactly flow in a chant-y, mantra-y way...)

As far as postures go... Everything was a challenge. StandingAttempting to stand on one leg for 60 seconds is the best rehab I can do for the ankle. For the first time possibly ever, I touched my forehead to my knee in Standing Head to Knee Pose (Dandayamana - JanuShirasana) without falling backward. Maybe the rehab has helped me learn to keep my weight more in the ball of my foot at all times? More likely—I was really lucky and in the zone...

Got a bit of an attitude adjustment in the spine-strengthening series. :) With students' mats so close together, there's bound to be some overlapping of appendages in Full Locust Pose, when we start laying on our stomachs (legs together, arms outstretched like a "T"), then lift everything up. (One girl mentioned before class that she'd been whacked in the face once before during this pose.) Judy had joked that we'd get really friendly with our neighbors in this class; well, she didn't know the half of it... the woman next to me, who'd been kidding around all class (which you just don't do, especially in the front row) rested her hand on my butt. Several times. Now, if that wasn't a message that I needed to chill out and not take everything so seriously, I don't know what was. I mean, it wasn't appropriate, but it certainly wasn't going to cause the apocalypse. Who knows—maybe the energy exchange helped? I felt pretty strong flying "like a 747, jumbo jet liftoff."

Also during the spine-strengthening series: Floor Bow. This pose has always irritated me, as I feel that because backbends are easy, my back should just take the hint and fold up in this posture, too. It's always been a struggle to get my weight off of my hips and onto my belly. Also, I think I haven't figured out how to hold onto my feet and relax my shoulders at the same time, which (I think) would let my chest lift up and back. There was that one time, though, in summer 2007 (I think) when my old teacher Alex lifted me up from my ankles to illustrate the pose's potential teardrop shape. Hoping to get back to that...

Judy helped me in the second set of Half-Tortoise by pushing down on my back and holding my hips down as I came up at the end. I don't know if my back muscles are crazy tight, but it has always been really hard to keep my butt on my heels in this posture. I think my back muscles are really shortened, which is why backbends are easier than forward bends.

No other postures are standing out in my mind challenge-wise, 72 hours after the class... but I'm still sore. Toward the end of class, Judy mentioned something about people going home and eating leftovers and I almost threw up on the spot, so I must have done a fair amount of detoxing. It felt good to be in there again, even if I hated looking at my body. (It wasn't so bad once class started; it's hard to worry about fat rolls when refrains of "one knee, lamppost, unbroken" are buzzing in my ears.)

So that's where I'm at. Rededicated? I don't know. I really want to be. I know that to practice every day, I have to commit to practicing every day and stop thinking of it as optional. "But it's so hard," she whines, "when there are a million other things that need to get done. Like sleep." We'll see how it goes. Something is better than nothing. Getting out of bed is the hardest part.

No comments:

Post a Comment