Friday, July 16, 2010

Different Styles

So I did the exact thing yesterday that I said I wouldn’t do ever again. I did my New Rules workout around 3:30pm then went to that weird step-aerobics/yoga class at 6:30pm. I was totally prepared for the class to be a disaster and for me to hate myself for it. Thankfully, miracles happen.

If you are new to yoga, you may get very nervous when you show up to an empty … or nearly empty … studio. What am I going to do with just me and the instructor? She is going to notice me. Ahh!

If you have been practicing for awhile and you show up to an empty classroom, your first thought is most likely WAHOOOOOO! An empty or near empty yoga class means personalized instruction, which is the best. It means that not only will your instructor notice you but he or she will most likely tailor the practice to your needs. That is what happened at Internal Muscle Shift class yesterday.

I arrived tired. I know I keep repeating myself, but I have been really tired this week. I am mostly over my illness but I think that the Cipro is draining my energy. So I showed up to grueling, heated step-aerobics yoga and I was pretty much dead on my feet. But then I noticed that there was only one other student in addition to me and I immediately perked up. Then a third student/ part-owner showed up and said she was tired. Then the instructor, Kim, asked us the magical question…Do you want to just have a yoga class? Yes, Yes Please.

Kim promised us a tough power yoga style class but about 2 minutes in I think she realized what she had on her hands – three very tired, very stressed out women who needed some yoga love. So the practice was slow and flowing with endless attention to detail. I felt like she spent the entire class focusing on me and my alignment. She also was apparently focused on my breathing…or lack thereof…since she handed me a cough drop halfway through to help ease my sniffling and coughing.

A friend of mine has recently started taking a bunch of different yoga classes and has discovered, as I have, how very different they are. The styles are different, the studios are different, the words and phrases are different and the instructors are different. If you start playing around with all these different yoga options, you will find not only a style that fits you, but you may discover that you fit many different styles.

I still consider Vinyasa to be ‘my yoga’ but I have discovered that I love Hatha yoga equally and for different reasons. We have to listen to our bodies…sometimes we crave hard work and sweat. And sometimes we crave deep stretch and calm. I personally struggle with allowing myself to accept an easier, calmer yoga practice…I was very lucky last night to have an instructor that recognized exactly what I needed, even if I didn’t.

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