Get behind me, temptation

Photo: close-up of hand restrains foot in dancer pose
Subtle shifts in the spine make it possible to reach back to the foot

I finally made it to a yoga class. Over the weekend, several issues (reduced schedule at Thrive Yoga, family activities, late nights, urgent tasks, and the mental trap of talking myself out of going to class because I’ve got more important things to do) kept me away from class. I played it safe and took the Hatha class with Marylou rather than the 3/4 vinyasa flow class with Susan. I just think I was in the right mind frame (and in condition) to tackle an advanced class. In any case, the heat was cranked up so I worked up a good class even in a Hatha class.

Because I have maintained my evening routine of keeping spine and shoulders loose for three months, I was able to get into some deep wheel poses (Urdhva Dhanurasana) and did not feel like I had backslide due to my absence from organized class. It also helped that Marylou led us through a sequence of poses that prepared us for getting into a deep backbend.

My evening routine can take as little as 10 minutes or as much as 45 minutes — or for that matter, I could turn it into an complete practice. But the daily discipline helps maintain a condition that I want to keep or improve on. After more than five years of practicing, the single most important instruction I would give a beginner is to do a little yoga every day.