14 February, 2012

What better way to spend Valentine's Day?

Today was the power vinyasa holiday "theme class" with Kathy and Gordy.

You might ask yourself "why would anyone take a 75 minute hot yoga class at 7pm on Valentine's Day? Right? And you would have to also ask the other 85 people who were in the room with us. It turns out, people who go to Urban Yoga Spa are a bit obsessed with their practice (in a good way, of course). And there is also a strong sense of community, which I should probably say more about at some point, since the ideas of community and belonging are ones that I have mixed feelings about.

Tonight's class was "music intense" (not my preference, but I don't let that stop me), and the music was mostly Loverboy (somehow related to the holiday) and Whitney Houston (for obvious reasons). When Kathy and Gordy co-teach, it is going to be hard, because they split the class in half, time wise, and you can be sure that whoever does the second half (Gordy) is not going to have us doing Wind-Removing pose for a half hour!

True to form, Kathy worked us really hard. I have been a bit sleep-deprived for over a week now, due to work and other things, and my energy was not fantastic. She got us doing the Dolphin Plank series very early in class, and then it was a long series of Warriors (of various kinds, including lots of Airplane and Warrior III), Lunges, and balance poses like Half Moon, Standing Splits, etc. Near the halfway point, I was soooooo ready to just lie down. To give in to the heat, the intensity, the grueling concentration. So close. But a Child's Pose came unexpectedly, right when I needed it most, and I realized "I guess I don't need to give up." But my fatigue was high, and my goal for the subsequent 10 minutes was to just do the poses, even if slightly feebly. Warrior II was feeble and un-Warrior-like. The subsequent Side Angle was feeble, with knee barely bent, arm not even really extended up. I was phoning it in. But I didn't lie down and I didn't leave the poses. It was all I had. And my energy did slowly come back.
Kathy sent us into Pigeon and then we transitioned to Gordy. His approach tonight was longer, deeper poses, rather than intensity. Just a few standing poses, and then we did some Camel, and hit the floor for abdominal work, including crazy "Bicycle" crunches, with extremely long "14 count" (holiday theme). A few other poses including a 14 count of Wheel pose that was really more like a 25 count.

And it was over.

I don't know why I chose to take that class. I am not saying I wish I didn't. Because I am glad I did. But I could have taken an earlier class. A shorter class. An easier class. And I wanted to do the harder one. The longer one. The later one.

It had something to do with participation. With belonging. With community. Wanting to validate the idea of the class. Wanting to show up, not just for myself, but for Gordy and Kathy, in a sense, too. Because this business that they run is something that brings a lot to a lot of people's lives. And they did not have to be there on Valentine's night.

But they were. And so were 85 people who were glad to be a part of it (even with Loverboy in the background).

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