Thursday, May 19, 2011

Yoga, round 2.

(on our way to class)

Last night was our second Yoga class, and dare I say it was even better than the first one? It was much different than the last one, too - I like that it's not the same routine everytime. This time we started with a little meditation exercise. Cue tears. Yes, I was teary at least 6 times during class. It's a good kind of emotional, though, very cleansing.

Just like last time, I was surprised at how easy some of the moves are for me, and how hard some of the others are! We did a new (to us) one called a Pigeon Pose which basically looks like this:

Except we took it a step further, with one arm extended out and our ear to the mat. If you would have shown me that picture three weeks ago, I would have not thought I could ever get into that position. But you know what? I can.

One I can't seem to do, though, is the Downward Facing Dog:

For some reason, I can fold and flatten myself into nothing, but asking me to stick my rump in the air while keeping my back and legs straight is too much. I'll get the hang of it one of these days.

Our instructor is wonderful. You know how some people just have 'it'? She does. Occasionally she will come around and either help you get into position or just place her hands on you for no reason. Last night she was pushing my shoulders further into my mat (I assume because I was holding a lot of tension there and not completely letting go and melting into the pose), and after that, she just ran her hands up my face and over my head and I was stunned by her seemingly healing touch and the good energy that just leaps out of her hands. I mentioned it to Josh afterward, and she had done the same thing to him and he felt it, too. It's just crazy (in a good way). She also has the knack for getting you into a mentally good place. She's very good about suggesting something (a thought or meditation) and then saying "or just discard it if that doesn't work for you." No demands, just gentle suggestions. Actually, if I could sum up the experience in one word, it would be "gentle." Easing your body from one move to the next, being aware of yourself, your soul, your breath... it's all very much like being spiritually cradled in the gentlest manner imaginable. At one point I realized the only thought that had occured to me in the last hour was that I wasn't thinking. Truly a triumph for a wound-up chickadee like me.

The benefit to having your mind so empty is that the thoughts that do come to you when she asks you to think of something are pure and true. For instance, towards the end of class as we were winding down, she said "On this breath, think of something you're thankful for and hold onto that thought. On the next breath send some love and good energy to the first person you can think of that needs your love and energy, even if it's someone you wouldn't ordinarily give it to." Wow. The things and people that were coming to mind were NOT consciously on my mind, but because they popped into my head I knew that they needed it and sent that love and energy their way without second-guessing myself.

Of course, as soon as we were out the door, I burst into tears and cried the four blocks home. Again, they were good tears. It's some sort of release I can't put into words. All I know is this is so good for me.

She will be gone from about June 20-Aug 20. During that time I guess we will be doing yoga at our gym. I know it won't be the same, but I just can't imagine going without it that long.

Next week I am going to start a new gym routine, too. Josh has been taking ab classes there and they are really paying off! Unfortunately,  I can't go to the same class (or have the same instructor) he does due to my work schedule. I'll be taking the 5 a.m. class on Tuesday and possibly Thursday mornings as well, and Pilates classes are on the same days (I think) except they are after work (I definitely want to take it one day a week, not sure if I can do two workouts a day both days). It's going to be a miracle if I can get there from work fast enough, but I am going to try! I find I do much better in a class setting when it comes to exercise, so I am very excited to start trying things a bit differently next week!


  1. Sounds like an awesome yoga class. I enjoy yoga and Pilates but have never quite gotten that whole spiritual cleansing type feeling out of it. It's just been gym classes though and apparently your instructor is some kind of guru so that's probably why! It's cool you are getting so much out of it.

  2. Yeah, I know it's just not going to be the same at the gym. We're so lucky to have the class we have now and the soothing environment!

  3. Holy wow! That sounds amazing. Again, I can totally see myself feeling the same way... and crying too! How awesome. Were you just devastated when you learned she'd be gone so long? Can you pick up in August and continue through winter and beyond? And sheesh! 5 a.m.? You're some kind of super woman. I get all dizzy and lightheaded if I work out at that hour.

  4. Oh, Ashley, I hope you get to find some time and a place to do it soon and you have a great instructor. It's SO emotionally healing! And way cheaper than therapy (haha). She lives in the neighborhood, so we will continue going to her when she returns from vacation, and for as long as she continues to teach it. We will greatly miss her those two months, but appreciate it that much more when she comes back!

    I am not superwoman, but my gym just does not offer classes at times that work with my 8:30-5 work schedule. It's disappointing, but I have to work with what they give me. I guess I will soon find out if flat abs are worth the early wakeup call... at least it's just two days a week, right? ;)