22 July, 2013

Definitely moving in the direction of the discomfort

Today was Power Yoga with Will Cristobal at Yoga Belly in Mountain View.

The official title of the class is the same as the name of the studio: "Yoga Belly." What they mean by this is that the class focuses heavily on core exercises. Of course, I recall one teacher at Be Luminous quipping that it's a bit silly to ask if we're going to focus on "core strength" since, honestly, all yoga focuses on core strength all the time. But the interpretation here is that there will be extra focus. Since it was a 75 minute class, that will come at the expense of some other series in the class.

Will was a funny guy, with a lot of energy, and the room was packed. The weather in Mountain View was uncharacteristically cloudy, cool, and humid. The class prior to his must have cranked up the heat, so it was really unpleasant in the room at the start of class. As such, Will stated that he was not planning on heating the room at all, because it didn't feel like the right thing to do. Hallelujah! Will also said that the theme of today's class would be "Back Bends." He said that we would be doing a lot of back bends today. As you know, I have been complaining about my back for at least 5 days now, so the thought I initially had was "Great! I'm in big trouble!" But I didn't really believe I was in big trouble, because I just knew this would mean I needed to be very mindful the entire class, which is never a bad idea anyway. My back actually feels better after a long class full of back bends than it does after a class with 1000 forward folds in it. I think the 1600mg of ibuprofen I have taken today probably play a factor in that. Nonetheless, I found myself, literally (rather than the usual figuratively) moving in the direction of the discomfort. And it wasn't half bad!

There were some kinda silly warm-up exercises that we did at the start of class, which felt more like dance. Will asked us to pretend we were skiing, whatever that looks like, and swing our arms and our hips to get all the juices flowing. Perhaps it was a good idea, because my back did feel pretty good from the start (the ibuprofen, though). What we didn't do in class today was much in the way of standing balance poses, other than one Warrior III pose. But we did a ton of abdominal work in the first 15 minutes of class, including lots of crunches with Eagle legs, and some hip loosening exercises where we'd quickly flip between Eagle legs left, and Eagle legs right, lying on our backs, while swinging our legs in wide circles in the transition. Silly, but effective.

Yoga Belly is a nice studio. I've been there 3 times now, though, and two of the classes I have taken have gone pretty far outside the lines of my comfort zone. I am not saying it's a bad thing. But I feel like they're catering more to an audience that is looking for heavy on the "fun intense workout" and light on the "spirituality and philosophy." I guess I like the line we dance somewhere between, at the studios and classes I tend to frequent most. That said, I believe it's another good varietal to have in my collection of yoga experiences.

Today was my first day at a new job. That's why I was down here in Mountain View, for orientation. I find myself rather calm and nonchalant about the whole thing. There's this stuff I did during the day, filling out forms, getting a new computer, doing silly group activities, learning about the company, meeting lots of people. And then, I walk out the door, get in my car, and drive to yoga. In that sense, life is the same, here, there, or anywhere. There will be the unpredictability and flurry of activities in each day, be they whatever they may be. Then, there will be the mat. It has its own unpredictability, in different studios, different teachers, the changing tides within my own body and focus. But it's still a mat, and it's a place to wash it all out.

And this is my place to hang it up to dry.

No comments:

Post a Comment