Namaste – Yoga Week 1

Last night I picked up my big brother and drove us up to the yoga studio.  I was very nervouse going in because I am not very balanced or flexible.  However those are the two main reasons I signed up for the yoga class to begin with.  We strolled up to the studio to find MANY people standing outside.  We stood with them, but didn’t know why.  We stepped into the studio to get some guidance.  They had us sign in and then go take off our shoes and pick a spot in the studio.  I handed Mike my extra yoga mat and we rolled them out.

It was a good thing I thought ahead to bring our own mats because there were not enough to go around in the studio.  The first thing we both noticed even before we sat down on our mats was how warm the room was.  We did not sign up for a Hot Yoga class, but even when they aren’t having Hot Yoga classes they do not run air conditioning in the building at all.  The building you could tell was newly renovated with crisp white walls, indoor outdoor carpeting, and exposed steal ventilation running across the ceiling.  I imagine you could still smell the paint if it weren’t for the incense burning in the corner.  There were colorful indian paintings on the walls and candles burning across on a mantal in the front of the room. 

We sat for a while watching people walk in.  The instructor had us slide our mats around into an “English Garden” to make space for everyone because we had a full class.  Some people still needed to register so it took us a while to get the class started.  I grabbed my purse and turned off my cell phone.  The instructor heard the power down tone and asked everyone to make sure they turned off their cell phones because they will ring at the most embarrassing moment and no one will claim it as their own phone.

The instructor started class by having us close our eyes and take deep breaths as she explained what the eight limbs of yoga are.  She explained that while we were starting poses that night normally you wouldn’t start poses until you have mastered the Do’s (yama) and Don’ts (niyama) of daily living and breathing (pranayama).  But since we were in America we were going to go ahead and review the Do’s and get into some standing poses. 

As we continued breathing she went into detail on the five yamas of daily living.  She asked us to choose which one most closely resonated with us and to remember it while doing our poses.  I chose Brahmacharya, which  translates into celibacy.  She explained that in traditional practices it means just that, but in more modern practices it means that energy isn’t wasted, you give away what you don’t use and try to stay productive with what you do use.  The way she explained it reminded me of my efforts at getting others to be more eco friendly in their lives, which is why I chose it for myself.

We started out in the mountain pose.  Which from the outside looked like we were all standing there with our arms up in the air.  Whoever we were concentrating on muscles from our feet all they way up to our finger tips.  This was helping to build heat our in our bodies and prepare us for moving into the warrior poses.

Mike and I both did pretty good with warrior 1 and warrior 2.  For warrior 3 we worked as partners.  Partner A held Partner B’s arms as they balanced on one leg trying to make a straight line parrallel to the floor with the bodies from their finger tips to the toes of the non-balancing leg.  Mike balanced first and put a lot of his weight ont my arms.  I actually was finding it difficult keeping him balanced.  But he did pretty good.  When it was my turn I didn’t put hardle any weight on his arms because I was concentrating on keeping myself balanced.  The instructor walked up behind me and pulled my leg up and out.  I thought I had been doing pretty good with the length and height of my leg, but when she was done I felt like she had given me an extra 10 inches.  Next we moved on to do the move with out a partner.  Mike did much better at this than I did.  I lose balance several times and almost fell forward on the mat. 

We continued on through several more poses including the traingle, forward bend, and several other standing yoga postures.  You could feel the burn in many of the poses, and she had us stand and take several deep breaths after every move so you could feel how the posture effected your body. 

At the end of the class you lay on the ground in the dark and perform a relaxation exercise to let the benefits of your practice settle into your body.  We are all laying in the dark, totally relaxed, and then we all here someone’s cell phone start ringing.  We all start laughing since it was just as the instructor predicted, right at the most embarrassing moment. 

We left class feeling great and realized that both us stopped minding the heat in the room after we got moving into the poses.  This morning we both woke up feeling worked but not sore.  When I was walking Tillie I noticed how open my hips felt and how I was standing more upright.  We are both excited about going back next week.  I was actually going to try to go on Sunday, but I am volunteering at a local race, so I might instead go Tuesday night since I have a free class pass that I can use.

3 Responses to “Namaste – Yoga Week 1”

  1. Marcy Says:

    Ooooooo sounded like an AWESOME time chica! Thanks for givin us the 411!!

  2. JMom Says:

    Sounds awesome! I am hooked on it now!

  3. Jeff Says:

    What’s with hot yoga? At least it’s not Java hot — 100+!

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