Here is a blog on yoga from one of my friends. She is attending a yoga course that i am teaching and this is her experience to date. The class is a beginners Ashtanga class, so we are gradually increasing Surya Namaskara A B , standing poses and working with a few seated poses. My teachers, generally speaking, do not offer the vinyasa "opt out" and I now know why; offer the "opt out" for newbies and they will take it... Enjoy this account.
I am holding my lovely yoga teacher of a friend personally responsible for keeping me sane at this moment in time. I am thoroughly enjoying doing her classes and spending an hour a week deflecting negative thoughts and working on my shoulder stands. It is really helping me clear my mind of all the crap, even if for a brief moment….
I am really not very good at it though and I’m not sure I really get it. I have never been good at learning languages and all the unfamiliar words – bungas and triganasna’s and om’s and whatever else she keeps saying are going right over my head. I couldn’t become a yogi. Way too many new words to learn.
I am still aching from my yoga class on Monday. Each week seems to get more complicated and faster – although I do feel a slight improvement occurring each week. I now know that the Down Dog, Cobra series thingy is called a “vinyassa” and you have to do loads of them. I haven’t quite got my head around that yet. I do one and then stop. Because it seems to me that one is enough. Then having realised everybody else is on to the next one I have to do the moves really quickly to catch up. Even after doing the initial vinyassas and moving on to more difficult warrior poses you are expected to do yet more vinyassas in between. She made the mistake the first few weeks of giving us the option to do another one if we wanted. We all just sat there choosing not to take her option. Now she doesn’t ask. We just have to do it…..
It’s all very well to keep reminding us that yoga is non-competitive but I can’t help looking about to see what everybody else is doing. I don’t seem to be able to do one pose without being so delighted that I’ve actually completed it, that I spend the next few minutes looking around with glee to see what the teacher is thinking and what all my friends are doing and to have a little rest and it is then that I realise I’m already supposed to be three quarters of the way through the next vinyassa.
I don’t think I’ve got the right attitude.
She tried to get us to do a “jump through” this week. No bloody way. You have to start in a press up position, bend your knees, come up on to you toes, stick your arse in the air as high as you can and then be brave enough to try and jump your legs through your arms to come to a sitting position with straight legs on the floor. My legs are NEVER going to be able to swish through my arms. Not a chance. You have to be a cheetah to do that. Apparently I can’t do it because I stop breathing at the wrong moment. You have to breathe through the move.
If only it were that simple.
Although remembering to breathe is important in life.
Perhaps it really is that simple. Perhaps it really is all about the breath. “Breathing gets you everywhere”. Maybe that should be my new motto. Although it’s taking me a long time to get used to the idea of using “audible breath”. It seems almost rude breathing loudly next to someone. It’s such a personal thing, breathing that I don’t yet feel ready to share the moment….or pretend to be Darth Vader.
Talk about reducing life down to it’s lowest common denominator.
26 November 2009
04 October 2009
Here is an amusing account of one of my friend's experience with yoga, which she originally published on her own blog, Family Affairs. Coincidentally, the yoga teacher with the yoga logo on the side of the car and trying hard not to get stressed out by the traffic was yours truly :o)
Yesterday, I went to a yoga class with a girlfriend who is a yoga teacher. She drove and we were running really late, but because she's got her yoga logo on the side of her car so she had to try really hard not to get stressed - drivers of cars with yoga logo's on the side must not, under any circumstances succumb to road rage.
I am so rubbish at yoga it's ridiculous. My friend's 19 year old daughter came too and she and I went right to the back in an effort to be ignored. You need such strength and discipline. Some of the moves involved lifting your body off the mat with your arms and swinging your legs underneath you to the back. Not a hope in hell of doing that. Then we had to do headstands and feet-over-head things and then I looked over at friend's daughter and realised that the two of us had inadvertently ended up in the storage cupboard.
I really enjoyed it though. I had been to a jumping about class the day before and it had all been a bit too frenetic. One woman even managed to give herself a nose bleed and instead of putting her head between her legs and sitting the rest of the class out she disappeared for two minutes and came back with a thick blue paper hand towel, stuffed the whole lot up her nose and carried on doing the (bloody) grapevine as if nothing was wrong. It was much better to be in the yoga class, trying to keep my thoughts calm and focused and trying not to fall asleep and snore, which I have been known to do in the past. I have also been known to sit bolt upright during the mediation period having completely forgotten where I was. I can't do any of the chanting yet, although I noticed a teeny weeny om-like sound tiptoed out of my mouth whilst everybody else was sounding like a chiming bell all chanting in unison because I knew I wouldn't be heard.
I was so relaxed by the end that I picked up somebody else's socks and walked out without my handbag. Friend had to go back for all her rings which she'd taken off.
Lovely comatose state of calm - long may it last.
Family Affairs - Yoga Class