A new perspective
This morning, I tried my first class at a local yoga studio that's on the way to work.
I've done power yoga before: Sometimes heated room (but if so, generally not quite Bikram hot), ashtanga-inspired sun salutation modifications. Balancing poses. Fast flow. Very physically demanding.
I thought I knew what to expect. Instead, I found myself completely forgetting my breath and straining at all times except those when I was flat out unable to keep up.
This was the most physically demanding yoga class I've ever attended, by far.
First, it was hot. The thermostat read 103F on exit! Second, because you can only fit so much in a 90 minute class, it was heavy on physical instructions, but very light on breathing and focus instruction as well as alignment corrections. In general, I think I prefer a more balanced yoga practice, but, that's why I'm going to as many studio classes as I can in early 2009 -- to figure out how best to deepen my yoga practice this year.
Today, I was thankful for the workout. And the shower at work, since I was drenched in sweat and the studio didn't have a shower.
I had to come out of (read: fall) several of the single-leg stands because after the "warm-up," we did at least 5 minutes of continuous balancing poses on each side (or more?) and by the end, my supporting leg was shaking too badly to continue.
I had to opt out of some of the push-ups because my arms just couldn't support me.
Also, for the first time in I can't remember when, I did a headstand.
How hilarious is that? I'm in my thirties and on my way to work, I'm stopping off to do headstands in a heated room with a bunch of strangers.
Wonders never cease.