Monday, May 16, 2011

Ashtanga wow!

I just tried Ashtanga yoga for the first time. Wow!
I haven't done any yoga for a long, long time, and I know from past experience that I always love a first yoga class. But this one was a real eye-opener.
In the past I've tried Iyengar yoga. I appreciated the careful attention to the postures. It all seemed so safe, and, in hindsight, soothed my inner perfectionist. But it could get a little dull. A little slow.
I once tried a "yoga flow" class at the office, but the teacher primarily taught aerobics, there were about 40 students in the class, and a techno beat played throughout the class. I did not return.
This was completely different.
First of all, the teacher did not play any sort of music or recorded soundscape. The only sound was her strong, calm voice, and my classmates' strong, but not always calm, breaths.
Second, we moved. We barely stopped moving, except for a few explanatory moments. I got warm. I got hot. It was not a hot yoga class. True, I am completely out of shape. But I have never been hot in an Iyengar class. This exertion felt good, although next time I'll dress a little lighter.
Third, I stretched. I mean really stretched. Shivaun even helped me stretch at a couple of points. Who knew that I could bend that far forward? Who knew that I could crunch my abs that hard to maintain that forward bend?! What a great feeling.
Looking forward to next class.
In the meantime, I'm going to try an Iyengar class in the same studio. I'm hoping it will be the perfect complement, because I do like to position myself just right, even when I'm travelling at 100 poses per hour.

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