03 June, 2012

Doubling down

Part two of today's double was Power Vinyasa "Flexy" with Gordy.

I wasn't planning on doing a double today. I really don't ever plan on doing them. The few I've done always seem to come out of this spontaneous little voice in my head that says "I guess you could stick around for another one..." And it usually has a lot to do with whether or not I have free time on my hands. Today I did. And for some reason, it was just feeling like this class was going to be an interesting one.

No matter how much water I drink (3 liters during the two classes), I cannot seem to catch up for the dehydration that occurs. That's the big challenge. In Gordy's class, we started off doing Reclined Butterfly, and some various stretches based around that. One of the things we did was abdominal crunches with our legs off the floor in the Reclined Butterfly position. And, while we're doing this, I suddenly notice this odd sensation of something that was not quite normal in my left foot. What was happening was that one of my toes (let's call it "toe #4") was spontaneously and involuntarily flexing. Um. Hello? This was clearly some sort of indicator that I was not sufficiently electrolyte-ified. The woes continued during Low Lunge. As I tried to rest the top of my back (left) foot on the floor, the entire top side of the foot began cramping, and I needed to settle for keeping the toes tucked, which seemed to mitigate the worst of it.

The thing that made today's class great was the vibe and the configuration. Gordy had us split in half, with each side of the room facing the other, and him in the middle, and he took most of the class with us. It was neat having the instruction be partially verbal, and partially visual. And I liked the sense of being a "gathering" of yogis, as opposed to a class facing in one direction.

The first 35-45 minutes of class was a lot of stretching, and a lot of Hatha-like standing balance poses. This was a bit of a brutality for me, having just come out of a 75 minute Hatha class. After all that, we did the usual Plank holds, which felt extra long (Were they? Was that 1 minute or 2 minutes each?). I was so determined to stick both of them, and not waver. The first one, I made it without a hitch. But on the second set, as the time wore on, I was trying so hard to do as he instructed, and just experience my body, and stay in the moment, and not create drama, and all that good stuff. But as I experienced my body, what I was feeling was that the worst of the fatigue was in my low back, and I opted (I suppose) to be cautious, and put the knees down for a few seconds. Then I put them back up, and the pose was almost immediately over. This, of course, made me wish I'd just toughed it out for those few more seconds. But I guess my body was telling me "rest now." It's so hard to know when it's just mental toughness versus physical stamina.

When we finally got to The Flow, which was surprisingly a standard Sun B, we went through it "only" 4 times. Often, in Gordy's classes, these flows will go 8-10 times or more. My head was fighting it the whole way. I had just taken a semi-Savasana (Semivasana?) during the Side Plank series, because I'd felt the need to not push the shoulders too far, and was also feeling asphyxiated to the point of nearly passing out. When we were flowing, all I was saying in my head was "I don't think I can go any further... I'll just struggle my way through this flow, and then I'm down for the count... I can't... I can't... I can't..." But somehow, in spite of that tortuous inner talk, I kept going, and made it through the flows. And then, much to our surprise, class was essentially over. We hit the floor, did some stretching, a few Wheels, and we were done.

The loud and negative inner talk was definitely due to the expectation that the flow was coming much earlier in the class, and that there were still more difficult poses to come. I was envisioning all these things... Standing Splits... Crescent Lunges... who knows what? And because of that anticipation, I was wanting to ditch on everything, including the very moment where we were. No matter how many times I recognize that the looking ahead is a major no-no, it seems it's a new challenge every day.

I think, given my minimal caloric intake before the classes today, I actually did quite well. In the moment, I found myself slightly frustrated that my form was so sloppy, and my head was falling out of the game. But how much can I expect from myself? Two and a half hours of hot yoga fueled by only a blueberry corn muffin? That's crazy!

Anyway, I did it. Another double. And it was a hard double.

And my team will be happy about the extra star.

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