Monday, December 14, 2009

Ashtanga and Hatha Yoga

10:04 sunrise
15:47 sunset

I had the most amazing yoga class tonight.

It started off a bit strangely though. The course began, back in September, with 15 or so students; however, numbers as few as five would show up some days. The smaller classes were nice as it gave our teacher a chance to give everyone some individual attention and adjustments. But tonight....tonight I was the only person to show up. I suppose if you signed up for one-on-one yoga teaching, this would be fine, but since I liked the anonymity of being part of a group, it vaguely terrified me. But, I took a deep breath, we giggled a bit as how I was the only person there, and then we began.

Aside from the fact that we were twice interrupted (once by a staff person coming in to clean and once by the PA system announcing that "Santa is now on rink #1 if anyone wants to skate with Santa, please come to rink #1) it was an immensely useful and - dare I say it - enlightening hour. My teacher was able to make me understand how certain movements I was undertaking were incorrect and she was able to make suggestions that magically made my body feel right, as though I could suddenly make myself understood in a foreign language whereas before I was only making noises. I don't know if that makes sense, but it's the only way I can think to describe the subtle, but significant, changes she helped me with today.

I was also thinking about a conversation I had over on flickr about how certain yoga poses are easier for each individual. I, for example, generally find vrksasana (tree) or baddha konasana (cobbler) quite easy. Or perhaps I shouldn't say easy, but they feel good to me. I feel like I can sink into the pose or be relaxed and yet focused at the same time. However, I cannot adequately express the fresh hell that dandasana (staff) is to me. The tops of my thighs scream at me while I am seated like this and my upper back isn't exactly thrilled either. And yet, tonight, I felt like I learned something and as though my body responded to yoga for the first time maybe ever. I'm actually feeling quite exhausted at the moment and my back feels slightly on fire (but in a good way if that's possible). I think it is, as maven said, that the hard ones taught me something tonight.

What about you? Do you have certain favourite yoga poses or teachers?

3 comments:

madam0wl, a.k.a Sandra said...

I once had a similar "only one to show up" experience but it was for a computer class on podcasting. Not quite as enlightening :)

This makes me want to start yoga again, even if all I can squeeze in is a couple sun salutations...

Maven said...

Well, like I said on flickr, I love me some trikonasana and extended side angle. I love trikonasana with a full bind. I had the most stable tree pose experience so far on Sat, but I think I need to post about that because it's got a lot to do with my ego. :)

My class is typically very small, and I've had one occasion where it was just two students. But our teacher is very hands-on, so I feel like I get a lot of assistance even when there are more students. It's great.

Claire said...

So true, ya? I simply hate doing the plow. I feel like my lungs are going to collapse.