Friday, August 12, 2011

Dig Deep & Reach For the Sky!

A few weeks ago, after weeks of stalking studios online, I finally decided to join a local yoga studio. I've done videos at home, the occasional class at a globo-gym and also played with some poses on my own just to see if I could do them. I also have the pleasure of being able to do yoga with my boyfriend in his yard, surrounded by grass and open sky. A couple years ago I took a course in Holistic Fitness that emphasized the emotion-yoga pose connection (fascinating stuff). Just this year I completed a yoga course designed for Personal Trainers. So I had dabbled with this 'yoga stuff' long enough and I finally decided to get serious about my yoga practice.What I wanted to share with you was that this week I stepped out of my comfort zone and took a more advanced class (NOT to be confused with an Advanced class). Oh boy...

First of all, this new studio I have started going to is wonderful so far; no elitist instructors, no huge yogi-egos, no b.s. Each class starts with the instructor giving us a short lesson (usually regarding a branch of yoga or a sutra) which is not something I've gotten from videos or globo classes. Afterwards I can go home and read more about it from my own copy of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. So yes, the geek in me rejoices at this informational portion of class!

Yoga is not inherently scary. What I do find a little unnerving though is not knowing what the instructor has in store for you. Especially if you choose to take a more advanced class than you are accustomed to. Now with CrossFit I don't like to know what the WOD is going to be for me on any given day. I'll panic about it if I know ahead of time, but if I just arrive and read it on the whiteboard I'll get excited. And I love my WODs! Now with yoga, you never know what you'll be doing. Thirty-minutes into class and you still don't know! You can't even be sure how long you'll be asked to hold each pose let alone what's going to come next! It's a little torturous in that way.

So I walk into class to find a man relaxing in a perfect head stand. "Oh wow, what did I get myself into?" It was a great test for myself (and the instructor)! Would he take care to get me through? Could I dig deep and get myself through?

Obviously I did. I made it through alive. It was more the pace of the class that made it difficult. There was some Sanskrit thrown in for giggles ("Now forward in Bhujangasana!") and a few tough poses to keep me straining. At one point my leg seized up as I tried to hold a revolved extended side angle (hands in prayer). It was excruciating...and I'm a CrossFitter. I don't use that word lightly at all. In the end I made it through better than alive. Actually I came out all glow-y (<- new word!). When the instructor singled me out to say that my "alignment was wonderful" that was all I needed. Sold!

I know it's all the drills for the Olympic and other lifts we do for workouts that has helped develop my alignment. 100% sure of it. So now I'm excited to see how the yoga will give back to my lifts! New personal records here I come baby!

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