18 December, 2012

Reality checks

Yesterday was Power Vinyasa with Jo.

It was a strange day, in terms of the yoga-thinking. I was slightly torn about what class I wanted to do. The idea of Hatha with Patrick sounded good. Class with Michel sounded good, too, but I wasn't really up for a 90 minute class. I decided that it might be nice to take class with Jo, since it had been a long time. And I was happy to practice next to friends, who made the class extra-fun. But I was reminded of all the reasons why I decided, for my body, that I needed to make a change, and the consequences of that re-realization have lingered with me (and then some) into the next day.

It was, without a doubt, the hottest class I have taken in, well, probably since the last time I took the very same class. And what was hardest was not just the heat, but the feeling of absolutely no oxygen to breathe. And I had to ask myself, "Is this a good thing?" But at the same time, while trying to stay "in the practice," I found myself quoting Lola in my mind again ("This is what is happening"). This was, after all, what was happening, and my choices were to be in the practice, lie down and rest, spin out of control in my thoughts, or leave the room (in decreasing order of yogic preference). I opted, to the best of my ability, to be in the practice, and focus on a different question. Instead of "Why does it have to be this way?" How about, "Given that this is what is happening, how can I *best* be mindful and stay in my practice?" I won't kid you though. At about 40 minutes into class, I was enraged at Jo, when the door was opened for about 2 minutes, bringing in about, um, zero air (because of the humidity), and then the door was closed again, back to the swelter. But the anger passed. I nearly fell over from exhaustion trying to return to Crescent Lunge from either Airplane or Half Moon, or who knows what.

The consequences of the class:

Severe dehydration all night long, dry eyes, waking up parched with a headache, weighing 2 pounds less than usual and, to make matters utterly worse, a strange, cramp-like spasm in one of my back muscles that is so extreme and painful today, that I am having difficulty even breathing, never mind moving.

My intelligence says "This is just not for me." It's the equivalent of going on that long run that I would really like to do, but my body just doesn't cooperate. And when I ignore my body, and go on that run, we all know what happens. Achilles tendinitis for like six months. 20 minutes of mindlessness, brings 250,000 minutes of recovery. That's why it's so important to listen to the messages.

I want to be in this for the figurative long run, not just a flash in the pan.

So, from now on, if it's going to be a drop-in on my old friends, I'll have to find them teaching a Hatha class, since my body firmly says "no" to 105 degree Vinyasa.

That is what is happening.

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow- It's so good to hear you say that. I came to a similar conclusion in the past few months. I've been going to Haute Yoga Queen Anne (which I think you would like) and they heat their vinyasa to 85-95, similar to Be Luminous I believe. This has made all the difference in my practice. Not only the stamina aspect, but savasana I don't feel like "let's just get this over with so I can breathe again!!" A couple of teachers there have told me that their use of extreme heat is because the majority of the students are sortof Type A personality 'no pain no gain' people. I get that...but I definitely think I've grown out of it.

    Sorry to rant, I hope your holidays are going swimingly.