(for regular folks)
Yoga Class, Nov 11, 2020. And Getting Here.
I’ve been practicing yoga for years. It wasn’t until this morning, though, that I realized I want to keep a yoga journal.
I practice vinyasa yoga these days. I didn’t always, I practiced, very sporadically, other kinds of yoga over the years. I never made going to class consistent because making the time to get there was too challenging. Still, I did yoga in the morning because I have injuries from a motorcycle accident and I knew that the yoga kept me from crumbling into a disabled, limping mess.
Popular yoga has tipped pretty steadily toward vinyasa in recent years, at least in my area, and not being a renegade, I tipped with it. I would spend about 10-20 minutes most mornings with a vinyasa yoga dvd or just doing a sun salutation/warrior flow.
I slowly but surely got sucked into vinyasa practice last year after taking a class at a local Yoga Studio, The Yoga Exchange in Holliston. First, one class. Then another, then another. I saw improvements in my back, in my injured ankle. And I left class feeling so much better than I felt going in. That’s how I got hooked.
I’ve tried other types of yoga and online yoga offerings, and this studio is my favorite. The teachers are all great, all bring their own personalities and preferences to their teaching, and I find the pace and practice of vinyasa accessible for me, a regular person who is not incredibly flexible or strong.
It’s been a little over a year since that first class. Last January Melanie Harrington, the studio owner and yoga magician, offered a yoga teacher training program that I decided to take in order to deepen my practice. She offered it in 3 parts so that students could choose whether to continue through the entire program. Initially I thought I’d just do the first two, since the 3rd and final leg of the program ran into June, when I knew I’d want to be in my garden. But in the end I stuck with it, feeling my practice deepen and following along with the meditation and elements aimed at reflection that Melanie builds into the class.
The result: I can teach a one hour class to friends with reasonable confidence. I practice at least a half hour daily. And I feel a lot better. I have less pain. In fact, I can honestly say that I have learned to love yoga. It shocks me to write that; I didn’t think I would ever love it. I engaged yoga more from a place of need than desire to practice. But I’ve arrived somewhere new.
So today’s practice was one I’ve done before: Jeff Convery’s 60 minute vinyasa class, which I took from TheYogaExchangeHolliston.com’s on-demand classes, which are free to her unlimited members.
Jeff often teaches slow flow and yin but I love his vinyasa classes. He weaves in spiritual reflections that are nature-based, which I love.
So today I logged in and grabbed a one-hour vinyasa class I’ve taken once before. The first time I took it I felt very challenged by the balancing poses, and kept having to drop a foot to steady myself. The poses weren’t particularly difficult – in one segment we went from runners lunge to a standing balance with our knee to our chest and from there transitioned to airplane. Not fancy, but my injured ankle makes it hard for me to keep balance on my right side. Today, I found myself able to be present (I am not always – I have terrible chatter in my brain) and able to flow through the practice feeling slightly more balance than I felt last time.
Realizing that I was in airplane on my right side today with slightly more balance than last time gave me such a feeling of happiness and satisfaction that I promptly lost my balance. 🙂
The same thing with tree and half moon, which we took later in the class – I could feel that I had improved some and was able to hold the poses a little more steadily. It made me feel great to see some improvement.
I’ll end there today; comments on the value of a yoga journal blog are welcome.
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