Another beginning on the mat

Photo: two yoginis get deeper into a pose
At Desiree Rumbaugh's workshop at Thrive Yoga in March

I finally made it back to a yoga class at Thrive Yoga. I took the 30-minute pranayama and meditation class followed by the 2/3 vinyasa flow class, both with Susan Bowen leading. I knew that taking Susan’s Saturday class would probably exceed my diminished capacity since I have not taken one of her classes in at least a month, maybe longer, and I’ve been unable to take any evening classes during the week.


Susan had us all packed into a single room (they usually open up the partition to join two rooms for her Saturday class) and then cranked up the heat. I did fairly well for 20 minutes and then I could feel my thighs starting to burn and fatigue setting in. I also started to feel dizzy so I dialed back my exertion and even improvised some modifications, while everyone else was stepping up their pace. I’ve gained some weight (too much comfort food, broken routines, and lack of exercise) and that like wearing a backpack filled with bricks while doing half moon. Thankfully, Susan ended up the class with half-pigeons, twists and other reclined poses.

What I did not lose during my time away from the studio was my range of movement, in part because even during the worst, hectic, painful moments of the past two months I’ve kept up my restorative/yin yoga practice in the evening. There were some poses that required me to use some strength to get deeper into the twist and that’s when my muscles did not have the stamina to carry me through. That’s the nice thing about returning to the mat after a long absence: you get to re-examine where your body is and use some of the softness to rework alignment.

Any by the time that evening rolls around, the body starts to feel really tired.