Monday, September 26, 2011

Try New Things - Class #4 - Warm Yoga

This class was supposed to be Hot Yoga, but the heaters in the yoga room were on the fritz.  So, we convened in one of the regular exercise studios with the heat turned up.  This provided a warm class (no pulled muscles) but not a hot class (no sweating).  I learned after class that the format of this class is similar to that of a Bikram class, in which you do a set of 26 poses (same poses every week) in a 95-108 degree room separated by rests between poses. 

I really dreaded this class because yoga is just not my thing.  I failed miserably at the class I took with the kickboxing ladies.  I would lie in corpse pose (savasana) and think "wow, I am not burning any calories here" or "how much longer?" or "what do I need to do at work tomorrow" or "maybe I can poke Michelle with my big toe".  Luckily, Mila and Elena (who are good at yoga and way bendier than me) agreed to meet me and Natalie told me what to do in the class. 

I arrived ridiculously early, procured and sanitized a mat, picked up towels, a block and strap and brought iced water with me.  As we went through the poses, the instructor told us to look ourselves in the eyes in the mirror, so it felt like cheating to watch what she was doing to emulate the poses (I still did it).  This class had the soothing music and dim lights, but it lacked a lot of the hippy-dippy stuff that intimidates or irritates some people about yoga.  After I worked through my desire for incense, deep thoughts and encouragement, I realized that if you just want to stretch your body without a lot of fluff, this is the perfect class.  Now, if you could eliminate some of the savasanas (boring!), it would be only an hour and perfect!

Interestingly, I really enjoyed the distractions of the karate class next door (they were breaking boards!) and when one of the other students' teenaged kids were dancing outside the door impatient for her to leave.  On the other hand, as I was struggling to turn my body around for yet another savasana (I am still ridiculously sore in my calves, core and triceps from Total Conditioning on Saturday), I had the nicest thought about the crisp, delicious apple that I had for snack before class.  It was nice to just think about that instead of being embarrassed at how un-bendy I am or how much struggle it took me to get into and out of the savasanas.

So, I give the class a thumbs up, despite the fact that it did not go according to plan and that I still suck at yoga.  It helped me stretch when and parts of my body that I otherwise would not have stretched and that is a good thing.

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