24 June, 2012

Flowing with the dudes

Today was 75 minutes Power Vinyasa theme class with Gordy and Patrick.

It also happens to be the morning of the Seattle Gay Pride parade, so the streets were packed with people and wild celebration. The parade route passes directly in front of the yoga studio, so I (again) opted to walk to class.

As I have walked across town many times these past nine months, I have marveled at how something like traffic, which used to be such a source of stress in my life, is now a mere curiosity. I look down at the Interstate as I walk on the overpass, and the cars seem like another world.

I am unhindered.

Likewise, navigating the parade merely becomes a choice of how close I want to be to the action. I choose 6th Avenue, avoiding the crowds. I am in my head this morning. This week is a bad week in history for The Feeble Yogi. The past two years have seen a share of turmoil on this very weekend and, as such, the big events: Pride, Rock & Roll Marathon, serve as reminders of "This Week in June."

And then, my yoga practice reminds me that there's another choice here. "Now" is "This Week in June, 2012." Not 2010. Not 2011. And, really, it's not even this week. It's this moment.

But I am struggling even though I know this. Worrying about nothings. Eager to be anxious about something. Anything!

Maybe a really challenging class will center me.

Well, I could not have picked a more challenging class to cleanse the emotional palate.

Gordy and Patrick took turns about every 15 minutes. There were some very intense sequences, some of which I'd never done before, since I have not taken many of Patrick's classes. What I noticed is that Patrick has some very cool flows that actually get you into a pose in an easier fashion than the "typical" sequence. One example: instead of going directly into Side Plank from High Plank, he had us do some sort of twisted side Turbo Dog as a transitional pose. I found this to be a much gentler way of moving into the position of having the weight on one arm. My shoulder thanks him for that!

It was as difficult as you could expect it to be. I was starting to experience the body sensations that suggested extreme dehydration: cold sweat, dizzy, weak, shaky. This really ramped up about 50-55 minutes into class (I am guessing). I was finding it hard to do the poses correctly because of this weakness. I did not want to come down to the mat, so I resolved to go much shallower in the poses without going into the realm of terribly sloppy form. But I sure felt sloppy.

About 65 minutes into class, we are on the mat doing stretches. It feels like it could be over, but I am leery because I have heard not one fat lady sing. There will be more. Sure enough, Gordy calls out one final flow. It's his Warrior 1 to Warrior 2 to Crescent Lunge to Warrior 2 to Side Angle to Reverse Warrior to Triangle to Warrior 2.

I am falling all over myself. My brain is screaming "You Can't Do This!!" but some other part of my brain is simultaneously saying "But You Are Not Going To Stop!!" We go through it once. I am sloppy. Twice. I am sloppier. Third time, I feel like this has to be the last one, and I am somehow magically less sloppy. Curious. Gordy is calling out the transitions very slowly because it's obvious that everyone is spent. Coming to the end of the third round, and he says "We are going to go through this one more time."

I feel like I have zero left in the tank. But I am wrong. Fourth time is a little bit less sloppy than the third.

And we're done.

Curious that the exhaustion was less physical than I thought it was. It was physical, yes. But the mind was what wanted to give in.

As we practice "seeing what's possible" on the mat, it really makes me more curious about what is possible off the mat.

Not surprisingly, I am feeling a little better about "This Moment in Late June, 2012" than I was earlier today.

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