06 April, 2014

Barely making it through

Today was vinyasa with Alice.

It is supposed to be a restorative class. But to get to that point, one must make it through her extremely difficult flow. There are usually no standing balance poses. And there is usually not much of a floor series. It's all flow, of ever-increasing duration and complexity. Until the short wind-down. Then restorative. So this 90 minute class is, in reality, more intense than a lot of 90 minute (non-restorative) classes.

Today there was not much heat at the beginning due to a technical glitch, so Alice upped the intensity of the flows to compensate. This was not what my body was asking for, but what can you do? I did sort of the best I could, and just skipped out of a few things that I didn't feel suited me.

Her flows usually include what she calls "Low Flying Chair." I am pretty sure there is no Sanskrit name for this, because I am pretty sure it's not a yoga pose. A few teachers do this from time to time. And I don't like the way it feels on my low back, and don't feel like it really fosters good form through that motion. It means that one never is really "landing" in Chair pose. So, today, I decided "No Flying Chair" and just did regular Chair and held it. Sue me, right?

I just had no energy. Lately I have had many days of low energy, and not sure why that is. I am starting to half-paranoid wonder if I have a carbon monoxide leak in my house or something.

The other factor about which I will complain (and this complaint has been building for some time, so it's only coincidence that it gets unleashed with respect to Alice's class) is the type of music that is played in most yoga classes I attend in Seattle. It's probably true in other cities too, based on my sampling. It's a lot of pop music, with pumping guitars, and drums, and pop vocals. There's nothing calming or meditative about it. There is no space for hearing breath. And, in many circumstances, it is almost impossible to hear the teacher's cues, because the music grows so loud. I don't understand how this is part of the yoga. But I guess I do understand that it is part of business. To get a lot of people to come and pay for yoga, it needs to be closer to a workout, and less like a spiritual exploration.

Truth is, I want to hear my breath. I want to hear others' breath. I want the silence, and the peace. But that's me. I always want silence and peace. Not just on the yoga mat. I can choose to go somewhere else that has no music. But I have chosen to go to the places I go. Usually, Be Luminous is pretty good about having quiet parts in the class. But yesterday, at Live Love Flow, Alice was actually doing a book reading to us, during Savasana, with the music still playing at volume. That's chaos, not Savasana.

I dunno. I like having a studio near my house, so I doubt I will drop the hammer and say "Not going back there again." But I guess I don't understand why yoga can't just be yoga. Why everything needs to have a distraction. And if there must be music, why, for one hour, can't we listen to something that is more in sync with the energy of the practice.

I'm showing my age, aren't I?

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