It’s Day 2, and I’ve completed three classes at Vital Yoga. I’m exhausted!
Yesterday I sampled a couple of courses, the first being a Vinyasa I-II with Chris Muse . I wondered what I was in for when upon check-in she said “Oh no I had a really hard class planned today but with so many new people I may have to tone it back”. My ego was a little pushed as I thought “Just because I haven’t done Yoga here, doesn’t mean I can’t hang!” But I decided it was best to keep my mouth shut. The class was good, a typical Vinyasa class (from my limited experience). There were a mix of beginners and intermediates in the class and there definitely wasn’t a scene. Chris had a nice style, yet I wasn’t overly impressed with the flow of the class. Literally translated, Vinyasa means ‘to arrange’ or ‘to place in a special way’. But often, it is simply translated as flow.
Luckily I had enough gas left to come back in the evening for a Vital Roots 90 minute class, led by Carol Darr. The Vital Roots program is the signature series of Vital Yoga, a prescribed set of postures for each class. This class was definitely tailored towards beginners, but I enjoyed the more yin aspect of the practice, generally spending at least a minute in each of the postures. Despite the relatively easy asanas, the longer hold times made for a more meditative practice that I’m into. Carol had a great classroom touch, leading with a nice sense of flow and humor.
Today is when it got really interesting! Just before 10am I strolled back into the studio to attempt some Warrior Academy Power Yoga., described as a high energy fusion of classic Vinyasa yoga and modern strength and cardiovascular training. Despite arriving 10 minutes early, I snagged one of the last spots in the studio, having to ask people to move in order to find a place for my mat. Turns out when you’re 4 rows deep and mat to mat, you can squeeze about 66 people into this studio! This warrior academy, let by Scott Anderson, was one of the hardest things I have done in a while. The room was well over 90 degrees at the start and little sweat beads ran down my neck before lifting a finger. Ten minutes in the shirts came off and towels employed to clean up pools of sweat on everyone’s mat. The majority of the students were in their 20s and 30s and looked like they had all done their share of Yoga. Most of the practice wasn’t hard in the asana aspect, rather with the speed and strength required to link things together at a quick pace. Suddenly we were asked to attempt hand-stands from a simple forward bend… I just watched in awe as a good portion of the class got up with ease! We don’t use the wall in this school because this creates a security blanket that doesn’t exist in real life was an interesting quote from Scott. Even if I had the slightest inkling of attempting one, the fact that about 8 people were well within my crashing distance intimidated me even more. At the end of the 90 minutes I think I had lost about 3 lbs. of sweat. Typing this now I highly doubt that I’m going to make a second class today…. What I really enjoyed about this class was Scott himself. At first you may think he would have been better off as a drill-sergeant, but ultimately he infused the class with a lot of grace, adding musings on gratefulness, love and compassion. There was a strong sense of gratitude the many before us who have enabled such a practice to exist, which is humbling and a nice reminder of our interconnectedness.
Time for a nap.