There's a new yoga studio around the block from where I live. Actually, it's been there for almost a year. The last time I went to yoga was in 2008. Bikram Yoga, the hot sauna-style yoga where everyone is very flexible but not relaxed. It's hard to keep your cool (pardon the pun) when you are trying not to faint. I went three times a week for three months and quit when my membership ran out. Since then I've been doing little yoga and lots of other things at the gym. This week I finally went back and OH MY GOSH - it was a crazy work out! I signed up for the easiest Hatha-Vinyasa class on the schedule and I could barely keep up.
What is Hatha-Vinyasa Yoga? A blend of:
Hatha refers to "a set of physical exercises (known as asanas or postures), and sequences of asanas, designed to align your skin, muscles, and bones."
Vinyasa is a "a method of yoga in which movements form a flowing sequence in coordination with breath" ... kind of like dancing yoga.
The class started out easy enough, bend this way, bend that way, take a deep breath. Then the downward dogs started and they merged into yogic push ups, another downward dog and a few leg lifts and leg twirls. I didn't know the names of the poses so I was two steps behind but loving it! By the end of the class my legs were shaking and I couldn't walk (or even sleep) without wincing for two days.
If you're wondering, that's not me lol
I went back for a basic Hatha class yesterday. The poses were slower, deeper and more conducive to meditation. When we reached for the sky I imagined myself drawing the sun down with me. The tree pose was one of my favourites - where you stand on one leg, make a triangle with your other, and reach for the sky. It was easier to find my balance on the left leg. With the right I kept toppling over. At the end of the day I don't think it matters how well you "strike a pose" instead its about taking a deep breathe and keeping your calm. Life is just as likely to throw a curve ball and that balance comes from inside.