18 March, 2012

Why not twice?

Today was 60 minutes of Hatha with Erin, followed by 75 minutes of Power Vinyasa with Gordy.

This was my first "official" double class ever. I've done a morning/evening thing, but my general reaction to going right back in the room after sweating so much has been "I don't think so." For some reason, today, several people asked me if I was going to stick around for the next class. My initial reaction was "I don't think so," but then I thought about it for a moment and realized that I didn't really feel strongly opposed to sticking around. I was actually a little curious as to how it would go. What's the worst that could happen? I would spend a lot of time lying on the mat. That's about it.

Erin's Hatha class started off pretty mellow, and relatively cool, making it not too difficult, but I think there was a recognition about halfway through class that the heat wasn't on as much as it probably should have been, and it ended up being "Bikram Hot" by the end of class. I am used to Erin's classes being 90 minutes, so there was definitely a sense of this one being abbreviated at 60 minutes. I also am pretty sure that we ran out of time in the standing series, because we only spent a short time on the floor at the end of class. I've been trying to "sleep" the Eagle pose again lately, since I feel like I've gotten solid enough in the balance and foot-wrapping that I am not severely compromising the pose.

Class ended, and there was the usually lingering outside the studio, during which time I self-persuaded into sticking around for Gordy's class too. It's funny though, because there were definitely two factors at play. One of them is this new "I wonder what would happen if..." process that I think is definitely the result of the yoga practice. But the other thing that was happening was the "seeking approval" thing; I imagined that having people who know me see that I am taking a double class would somehow make them look upon me favorably, or at least give me praise for the effort. And I definitely am a praise-seeker. It's hard for me to tease apart the balance between those two motivations. Which was more significant? Is it right or wrong that I seek praise? But it was definitely something I felt myself doing.


Gordy's class was quite similar to the series that was run on the previous Thursday night, which I described in an earlier entry. We once again had the long flow series, this time led by Heidi. And we once again had the long Plank series, which went even longer this time, through two songs, instead of one, since (as Gordy noted) the first song was too short. I did not stay completely on the Plank poses. I dropped my knees several times, and pushed back to Downward Dog several times. I am not actually sure if this was physical or mental failure (again, I use that word "failure" not in a judgmental way, but merely to refer to a ceasing of the intended course of action). I tried to explore that a little bit during the series, but it was not clear to me. I would venture to guess, however, that 99% of the time that we don't push through, the battle is mental not physical.

At the beginning of class, I'd noticed a tall young woman in front of me who was doing Downward Dog, with one leg raised up nearly vertically in the air. I was marveling at how that is even possible physically. Later, during the class, we were doing Standing Splits, and Gordy actually stopped the music, and stopped the class, right in the middle of a flow series, to call out the amazing form and perfection of this woman's Standing Splits. Seeing a body in such a perfect execution of a pose really makes me appreciate not only the practice of yoga, but also the beauty that is possible in the human form. I liked the fact that Gordy showed this to us in much the same manner that someone would stop you on a nature hike to point out a beautiful flower growing on the path.

After that pause, I found another 3-4 inches of elevation in my back leg.

My first double is done. I don't know for sure that I'll make this a habit, because I do feel like I need to come up with some better solution for managing my dehydration than I currently have. But I am glad I did it, because now I know I can.

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