15 September, 2012

Due al prezzo di uno

This evening was 2.5 hours with Lola & Sue, split between Power Vinyasa and Restorative Yoga (which I will continue to label as "Yin" because I don't want to create a new tag).

The one major disadvantage of teaching a yoga retreat is that you may not get to do much or any yoga. So it is fortunate for Sue that several of the others at this retreat have teacher training, or are instructors. Today, Lola took the lead for the first half of class.

It was a fun and unexpected surprise to have another teacher, since I had not been aware this was a possibility. It was the first class where the heat in the room was up far enough that I broke a major sweat during the practice. That said, it was probably only 80 degrees, but that's really all it takes for me. Not because of the heat, but just because of the series taught, this first hour was the toughest for me of the entire retreat thus far. Lola had us in quite a few unconventional poses, including a series based around Warrior II, where we started in Twisted Crescent Lunge, then came up to Warrior II, then WII with Eagle arms, pivot body forward, and come into Eagle from WII. Then WIII with Eagle arms, step back to Crescent Lunge, and flow. I am not sure I am remembering that 100% correctly, but it involved a long time in WII legs. We also spent more time in Wide Squat than I have ever spent in a class. I've mentioned here before, I am pretty sure, that I am nursing an "almost groin injury" that has been kind not to become an official groin injury. But, I have got to say, Wide Squats galore makes me a tad nervous. We'd go to Wide Squat then, keeping the hands on the floor, straight legs, and back down to Squat. I think we did either 8 or 10 of those between two sets. Lola's transitions are a little faster than Sue's. I'm only mentioning this for the comparison within this retreat. I think both of their paces are comfortable for me. Sue features very deliberate pauses at each step of a flow, delineated and aligned to full breaths. So I think the intensity in this class was partly related to a faster pace. To tell you the truth, I am scared to write this, because I feel like the result will be that tomorrow's Vinyasa flows will be lightning speed. But I'm here to overcome my fears, so I shall not be afraid of lightning-fast flows, should they occur.

The transition from Lola to Sue occurred at about the halfway point in the 2.5 hours. I was not sure if we were really done with the intense stuff, and I was really hoping we were, since was very tired. It turned out that the entire second half of class would be restorative. In fact, we started the restorative during the last 20 minutes of Lola's portion, with a variety of long, slow hip stretches, centered around Full Pigeon, and Seated Twists. Sue's class involved 5+ minute holds in a variety of hip and low back stretches, plus some shoulder and chest opening. Everything was with great ease. Everything was quiet, except for the music, which was yoga-ish music. The poses were great, and I got a lot of comfort and stretching from it. The only downside was that I was having a hard time staying awake (though I did manage). This class, more than any others, I did not feel like I had the yoga focus, either with my mind or my breathing. I wasn't struggling (the usual culprit for loss of focus). I was just wandering. My mind was just merrily wandering about, and I was forgetting to breathe, and not even realizing when the last time was that I had checked into the moment. It was definitely not unpleasant wandering, and I suppose that is gonna happen from time to time. But I do try to stay present when I am on the mat. This evening, I was not.

And I guess that's okay...

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