28 February, 2012

Pedal to the metal

Today was 75 minutes of insane Vinyasa with Kathy.

Actually, by insane, I mean that it was super-intense. In fact, it was probably one of the most challenging classes I have ever taken. One of those days where my mind never gave up, but I felt my arms and legs burning to the point of failure on several occasions.

I really need to give you a sense of the sequence:

Started with abs on the floor. Then basic flow. Then the famed Dolphin Plank series. Next were about 5 consecutive rounds of flow through Warrior I. It was truly hard to believe that the final round came up, since it just felt like Child's Pose had to be on the horizon, but no such experience. And before we got to Child's pose, there was a grueling "Belly of the Beast." I really wanted to lift that leg off the floor, and it wasn't budging. Not one inch. Brief rest, and I believe we did a little bit of floor work at that point, like Locust and Floor Bow (though my memory is clouded). Then it was back to standing for some balance poses: Eagle, Tree, heck there was something else in there too. You'd think that, after balancing, it would be back to the floor? Wrong again! It was Crescent Lunges and Warrior III. Finally we hit the floor, and did some stretching, and then a very serious series of Bridge and Wheel (2 sets of Bridge, 3 sets of Wheel; the latter being 10 seconds, 15 seconds, and 20 seconds).

You get the picture.

I was by the door, and I was still feeling like it was a tad on the warm side. But the thing is, there was no drama. I wasn't mad at Kathy for working us hard. In the past, I would have probably been thinking "What is she doing, anyway?!" and being mad that I didn't have enough air, or that it was too hard, or blah, blah blah. But there are a lot more days now where I just take what comes. And I don't complain, even to myself. Because even that silent complaining is the kind of thing that makes it more difficult to practice. It's kind of like *not practicing*. Complaining is the anti-practice.

Class ended with a very long, peaceful Savasana, featuring a group-sing of "Let It Be." There's something powerful about listening to a class full of tired sweaty people, who barely had the breath to stand, but suddenly have the breath to unite in a song that knows no generation.

Lately, I have been feeling kind of separate.

Kathy's class made me feel, at least for 75 minutes, like I was connected.

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