Thursday, September 15, 2011


How do I love my yoga practice? Let me count the ways!

I marvel that I get up two days a week at 6:15 (this morning in the DARK) to go to yoga class. I have never done this...SO not a morning exercise person! But I love my current teacher so much that it is worth it -- when the alarm goes off, I hate it, but after I start my practice, I am so happy. In fact, I was thinking this morning that even if he taught at night (my preferred exercise time), I might keep up these early mornings instead...they have freed up my nights and I love that.

After practicing for years and years, I have done pretty much every kind of yoga there is. I have my favorites and my least favorites, but I've always thought for a person like me with my injury/body issues that Iyengar would be really nice to get to have on a consistent basis. Despite searching over the years, I never found a place to get that...until now. Yes, my teacher is Iyengar-based hatha yoga -- we work hard on specifics of placement and holding poses -- we do NOT do lots of "vinyasa" or "flow" (which is so popular in L.A. that you can almost find nothing else). It's not very woo-woo, but I have gotten enough of that in the past that I can breathe and meditate on my own during class without someone telling me what to do. What I cannot do is see myself (unless I look in the mirrors, which I try not to do)...and a good teacher is key to this. (This morning, in headstand, my feet were apparently doing something weird -- no way could I have seen it and I couldn't feel it even when Teacher moved my feet to the correct position -- I needed him to show me with his hands so I could SEE.)

What prompted my ahhhhh here? Last Saturday I went to my regular 1:15 class and (gasp!) my regular awesome teacher was not there and (gasp again!) the sub was the horrible teacher I tried once before and swore never again. I had met a friend and she said "do you want to just go and get a cup of coffee?". I declined because I really needed yoga -- whatever that was that day. And it was NOT what I like, what I needed or what I want. But I stuck it out. I sweated a lot. And it was yogaerobics, not yoga. I CAN do all the poses in the universe in an hour and 15 minutes without holding one for more than a few seconds, but I don't WANT to.

After that debacle, I decided I had to get on Teacher's mailing list so I wouldn't have such a disappointing experience again. I tracked him down through a new Facebook friend who is in my class. And, voila!, I am now saved. ;-)

I love yoga (when it's good...and sometimes even when it's bad) so much. I have time to empty my mind and focus on just being in my body. And, in addition to being quite a bit thinner than it was in May, my body is stronger and healthier. My knees and back are giving me almost no trouble (although I have to modify some poses). My disposition is, I think, much happier. And this feels like HOME.

[Side note: I gained about 4.5 pounds at Burning Man due to eating total crap for a week and it could have been A LOT worse. All but about 1.5 are already gone. I am reminded how important it is to get back on that wagon quickly after a vacation.]


Vickie said...

amen to just getting right back to it before the excess weight attracts some of its friends or plays with mind, joints and hormones

I know exactly what you mean about not wanting to barely get in pose and then they are on to something else. I also know what you mean about the importance of a good positioning instructor.

I picked up a fall schedule for my yoga place, have not gotten to try any extra classes yet. but soon. looking for very similar to you I suspect. I do not want to hold a pose for the whole day, but want to actually get into it, want an instructor who knows positioning and corrects, want a variety of positions not the same thing every class.

two posts in one week!

Helen said...

Yes, I want exactly what you say...and I think I've got it! Now I'm just terrified that this teacher will move away. ;-)

LOL...yes, two posts, wow! I do have so much I think of and process to write, but rarely seem to have time. I'm trying... :-)