Bottoming out in class

Photo: Hand reaching out in a yoga poseFor the first time since the Kest workshop two weeks ago, I took a Vinyasa 2/3 with Susan Bowen at Thrive Yoga. I got my butt kicked. I had taken one Hatha yoga class on Sunday and another on Tuesday, along with some aerobic work at the fitness room in the hotel during my brother’s funeral. That frequency and intensity of class was not going to maintain my aerobic conditioning unless I combined it with some running or work in the gym on the stationary bike or elliptical trainer. But even that is not going to allow me to keep up with Susan’s class. She did a Brian Kest routine on us — she went through a long sequence on one side of the body that worked deeper and deeper into the hips. I was lost half way through. Then, she had us do the other side, just as deeply. I could not sustain Warrior III at the end of the sequence.

I really enjoy my Hatha yoga classes, and I get really deep into them, as I see them as a kind of remedial yoga practice that allows me to relearn my poses, focusing on alignment and ease. Thrive Yoga has teachers who can really open the way into poses. It may be the strong Anusara influence. I am trying to gain access to my hips, my psoas, my shoulders and rhomboids, areas that were densely tensed muscles or fibers that I could not even feel, much less activate. If we’re wizzing by the asanas without a chance to settle in, that defeats my intention. I’ve seen some “yogis” pick up their mats and leave if the practice does not have enough pace, lots of vinyasas and challenging poses.

I love my Hatha yoga classes, but that’s not going to substitute the more physically challenging classes that I can get on the weekends, and Thursday evenings. It wouldn’t hurt if I could fit in more home practice as well, but that’s another story.

On the good side, I must say that I have been fairly consistent sitting in meditation for 15-20 minutes in the evening, and grabbing shorter sessions during the day. I am constantly amazed by the rush, a refreshing rinse of my mindset, that I get by just taking a few moment of mindfulness; I say to myself, “Boy, I needed that”.