Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hot Flow

I am happy to note that I was able to attend my first yoga class yesterday.  I thought I will not be able to make it on time but I was there fifteen minutes before the scheduled start of class.

It was supposed to be gentle flow but the yoga instructor mentioned that it will be hot flow.  The room's temperature was upped to 37 degrees (100 F).  I thought of leaving the room since this might be intended for advanced students.  I might collapse knowing my low tolerance for heat.

My apprehension was appeased when she said there will be two of them in front. Her partner will lead for the advanced students and she will lead for the beginners.  We will be doing easy asanas, the basic yoga positions.  There were also lessons on how to make the body more flexible.  From what I remember these were the poses we did - basic seated, basic standing, calming basic sequence.  I was able to do some poses with little effort.  I had to put great effort for most but one proved to be really challenging that I had to pause for a few seconds.

I was sweating all over but I did not mind the heat.  I did not even feel suffocated nor irritated which are the two things I normally feel when temperature is high.  This was really surprising.  You mean I was that engaged with all the poses that I totally forgot about the heat? I was having fun, some sweaty fun.

I would like to note that I was quite comfortable with the seated twist, dog tilt, cat tilt, downward facing dog.  I was surprised that I had a hard time balancing doing the tree pose.  But when I got home and repeated it, I was able to do it properly. One proved to be a challenge which I was not able to do. I forgot what it is called but the forelimbs are slipped under the hind limbs and they will act as support in carrying your whole body. The palms are touching the floor which acts as the base. Whew!

My favorite is the shavasana.  I understand it is always done at the end of every yoga class which aims to rejuvenate and relax the body, mind and spirit.  I needed that after all my muscles were flexed and stretched. My muscles needed to unwind. I could very well attest shavasana did relax me.  As if I did not do all the poses for the first time.  I was expecting sore muscles but they did not hurt much.

It helped that I have been going to the gym since middle of last year. I am quite used to stretching and some muscle flexing.  The greater factor is reading books which revolves on getting in touch with the inner self.  I appreciate the importance of meditation and having a quite time.  I know it is a learning process and I am very interested to adapt this in my lifestyle.

There were a few preparations I did a week before I decided to join the session. I read about yoga for beginners online. I watched a few videos and tried some of the poses.  I also talked to L, my good friend, who is attending Bikram yoga for a few months already.  She encouraged me to be patient. Do not compete with anyone nor be conscious of how I do the poses.  It's natural not to perfectly achieve them in an instant.  Let my mind focus on the breathing and relax myself.

To be honest I still have to practice my breathing. I sometimes commit some lapses at the exact moment I have to inhale and exhale. Yoga as I have read is fifty percent breathing. I will practice my breathing.

My realization is that if yoga is to be a part of my lifestyle, I should enroll in a yoga center and have a personal relationship with my instructor. I want to have a mentor.  I want to maximize the benefits and put them to good use.  Attending yoga sessions provided by the gym is fine for the moment that I am still exploring it.  I am one hundred percent interested.  I am very enthusiastic about yoga and how it can further improve my well being.

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