Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Zensational Day of Yoga

Several times, I have joined that wonderful man of mine at a local studio for Baptiste Power Yoga.  The room is heated to around 85-90 degrees and at the end of the class, there's enough sweat on the ground to warrant building an ark.  Despite feeling somehow zen and centered at the end of it, my ass definitely got worked.  Half the time I actually felt more like this:

Baptiste Power Yoga is definitely the closest kick-your-ass workout I can think of next to boot camp.  As I've been doing four days per week of the latter, I knew I couldn't muster up the strength for a zenful ass-kicking, but I've definitely been missing my time on the mat.  So when my awesome friend Becky asked if I wanted to join her for a fun day of much tamer Vinyasa Yoga and bicycle riding, I jumped at the chance.

Our day began with a one mile bike ride to the park for a free AM yoga session.  Apparently, this happens once a month.  I never knew!  The weather was gorgeous and as much as I wanted to concentrate on my breath and my being, I could not get over the beauty of the day.  Even though giving in to my distractions might have been against the rules (I have no clue if I was breathing, ya'll), I still wound up feeling completely refreshed and renewed and connected with the universe at the end of the hour-long practice.  Yoga outside just might be my new favorite place to do yoga.  Who needs walls?

After the park, we had a two hour break to ride around and eat lunch before taking our practice inside for a two-hour Hands-On Yoga workshop.  Basically, it was Vinyasa yoga meets massage.  As we went through poses, instructors came around to adjust us deeper into the poses or lightly massage certain areas affected by the pose.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't fall asleep at some point!  I mean, heck, we went through TWO shavasana, what did they expect to happen?!  Not to mention, I'd done about a zillion sun and moon salutations at this point.  My body was fatigued!  But in a good way.  Upon waking, the workshop ended, I ate a few strawberries and a cookie before pedaling off into the sunset (home).

It's interesting.  During boot camp, I find myself thinking, "I need to get stronger. I need to get stronger".  During yoga, I found myself thinking, "damn, my body is strong".  The thing is, I think both are correct.  I don't know that I will ever reach fitness perfection, which is ok.  I like always having a goal--to get stronger.  However, slowing down and paying attention to my body allowed me to see and be grateful for how strong I already am.  And that's enough to get me back to my mat on a regular basis.  Namaste!

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