Saturday, May 15, 2010
Day 6 - Hot Yoga! Stretching Deepens. . .
I thought for sure if I went to the early class it wouldn't be crowded. I figured people would sleep in and come later in the day. Wow, was I wrong. The class was packed wall to wall. Totally different than any class I've been to. Probably 30 people. Everyone was kind and cooperative and it all worked out fine.
Also, overnight, they took out the carpet and replaced it with one giant yoga mat. Crazy. The new flooring is a little stiffer than a yoga mat, but very similar. It is a bit slick when you are all sweaty, and, as the instructor said, you have to work harder to keep your legs from sliding. I assume it's washable and they will be mopping it every evening.
Class was good. My balance gets a tiny bit better every day. Shaun talked about the link between body and mind yesterday - that a healthy body creates a healthy mind - that a flexible body creates a flexible mind. I'm hoping my body and mind will both get more balanced (and flexible) soon.
There is a pose called Sasangasana (Rabbit Pose) where you start sitting on your feet and then put your forehead against your knees and lean forward, all the while pulling on your heels. It's hard to explain.
It looks like this:
And, as you can read, it's really good for you. Anyway, somehow, today, I got a better stretch and I actually felt my spine stretch from the top to the middle and all the way to the bottom. It felt really, really good. Going to class was worth it just for that 10 seconds of stretch!
What else was good today? You have no idea how good it feels for me to actually be able to lean forward, wrap two fingers around each big toe and look up into the mirror with my legs straight. I've been working on this for quite a while but have made literally inches of progress in my 6 sessions of Bikram Yoga. I don't know when I heard - it may have been sometime this week, or at some other time - that forward bends allow for letting go of the past. I can tell you that being able to do a forward bend has almost always been difficult for me. It feels good now. I wonder what part of my past I'm finally letting go of. . .
I am consciously choosing to treat the class like a meditation and not get "scattered" in my head or check out. I do drift. A lot. And then I gently bring myself back when I realize I'm not really there. It's much easier to do the class on auto pilot, or half-consciously. And, I get that there is much to learn from choosing to be present every minute.
Am I sore? Not really. I am so impressed with how quickly my body recovers! What amazing and adaptable things our bodies are. If you think you can't change your body, you are mistaken. You can. As Shaun says, don't think about it, just fall in. If you think about it, you'll resist.
What do you do to keep your body strong? Walk, Slog, Jog, Run? Yoga, Dance, Swim, Bike?
I am sending you encouragement.
Onward. . .