Yoga Challenge Complete

Wednesday I completed my 9th class in 6 days and officially completed my personal Yoga challenge. My last day was rather uneventful. On Tuesday afternoon I attended an Anusara II class with Maria Patella, expecting a different style of Yoga than other classes, but other than a sense of the practice being more about heart-centering (could have just been her style), I found the class virtually indistinguishable from a Vinyasa class. We were allowed to practice handstands against a wall (which I actually can do!), unlike my experience in several other classes were the option wasn’t provided…  I did enjoy Maria’s teaching style; she was very motivational, fluid and explanatory. Clearly she has been doing this for a long time and it showed.

Something funny happened when I checked in – one of the teachers told me I would need to pay because my week was up, which wasn’t true. Because I had already attended 8 classes this tripped something in the computer as an anomaly! She also explained she had been reading my blog so I was glad to have kept my comments generally friendly and constructive towards the studio: word travels fast!

Wednesday the schedule is surprisingly thin at Vital, and I was only able to attend one class, a Vinyasa practice with Scott Anderson, the only teacher that I sampled twice. Scott, if you remember, ran the Warrior Academy class that crushed me on Saturday. His Vinyasa class was a little lighter, but also had the feel of a workout class done through a yoga medium rather than a yoga class focused on fitness. Many people love these (the class was quite full, not packed like Saturday however). I’m sure I’ll attend some in the future, but in general this style of class does not attract me.

So here I am on a Saturday, lounging in a chair and feeling my body recover. After completing the Yoga challenge I had three back to back sessions in my climbing gym (Wed-Fri) which had the effect of absolutely wrecking me. I’m limping around my house today after a very late sleep-in. Despite this, for the most part I feel strong and healthy. I hope to use this accelerated week of fitness and yoga to catapult me into the spring.

As for Vital Yoga, I’m excited to have a great studio nearby, and I plan to buy a punch card soon and try to commit to a reasonable 2 classes/week rather than 2 classes/day! I still find myself more attracted to the meditative aspects of Yoga, which aren’t stressed at this studio unfortunately. I’ve often heard of physical Yoga (Hatha) explained as a preparation for meditation, as the comment below indicates:

HATHA YOGA is a method of handling the physical body so that the mind and the nerve system are calmed and quieted. It is primarily a means to prepare oneself for meditation. Hatha Yoga is founded on a principle of putting the physical body into a position so that the nerve currents in the physical body get tuned up to a perfect pitch. It is like tuning the strings on a violin; if you tune the violin just right, then each string will be in harmony with the other ones.

Interestingly, Scott polled the class to ask how many people meditate regularly – about 20% of the 40 people raised their hands. I found this a powerful statement about the disconnect between Yoga and meditation in the West. Hopefully, through my own practice and desire to enter this space more professionally, in addition to the many already working on these views, these attitudes can begin to change.