22 March, 2012

Finally. Here. Now.

Today was Hatha with Patrick.

There was an energy in the room today that doesn't normally seem to be present in a Hatha class. Usually, the energy and chatter happens over in the other studio, with "The Flow People," and Hatha classes are quiet, calm, almost like you could hear a pin drop. But today, there was a little bit of talking before class, and it felt like everyone was very aware of everyone else in the room. It was just different somehow.

From start to finish, today's class was probably the most "right-on" that I have ever felt in a yoga class. It wasn't that it was easy. It wasn't that the conditions were any more comfortable than typical. It was just the rhythm of the class. Patrick, as I have mentioned before, has a way of providing instruction that is almost a stream of consciousness blend between encouragement, instruction, modification, philosophy and detail that effectively leaves little room for any extraneous noise to creep into one's practice. You could imagine a case where that much coaching would be distracting but, somehow, that is never the case, because it comes across as entirely pertinent, real-time feedback that just keeps you in the moment. It is not something that one can learn how to do. It is something that seems innate.

Today I experienced a "first": in the Low Lunge (with top of back foot on the floor), I was able to push down onto the back foot and lift the back knee up off the floor. This is something that, even just a few weeks ago, had seemed utterly impossible in my mind. I had always thought "there's no way I can push down hard enough on the top of my foot to get that knee to lift."

I also found Standing Bow, once again, to be solid and stable. Getting better at not being distracted by my own body movements, or by the shifting of bodies around me. Those tend to be the hardest things for me. If someone else falls out of the pose, it tends to pull me. Often, certain verbal cues by the instructor, especially beginning a countdown of the final 5 or 10 seconds, trigger me to fall out of Standing Bow. It's truly a position that, for me, requires laser-sharp focus.

But, beyond that pose, everything just felt like it was "the way it should be." I am not sure what was different, but there seemed to be a kind of zoned-in sensation in just about everything. Even when I was almost falling over in Pyramid, I still felt like I was right there where I should be.

At the end of the class, I found myself feeling that kind of light euphoria that I used to feel after going for a long run. I haven't felt that way very often from a yoga class.


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