Monday, August 25, 2008

Don't Try This at Home.

Back over the winter a friend and I decided we wanted to try yoga. This is when we found
Barefoot Yoga Works. They offered a Yoga Basics class at a time after work. We both said "This is perfect." Even after our first class we noticed a difference.  We both felt great, less tense, and we were energized. It was amazing! 

Sharon, our instructor also happens to be the owner.  She is a wonderful teacher for those who are completely new to yoga.  She has a great, relaxed teaching style, and I love the fact that she constantly reminds you to honor your body and to be aware of what your body can and cannot do. 

It's been about six months now, and I have actually stuck with the yoga practice.   I think I can safely go on record in saying that I'm not a fan of exercise, but this is different.   I wouldn't call myself a "Yogie" by any means, however, I will say I'm totally hooked.  I quickly found myself eagerly awaiting Thursday night's Yoga Basics class.  Eventually, one class a week wasn't enough so I've worked my way up to Yoga Level 1. Although I really enjoy the Level 1, I  still attend the Basics. I consider it a kind of a reward to myself  for going to the Level 1 earlier in the week.

So, this past week I attended my Level 1  as usual, but by the time Thursday rolled around I was pretty burnt out. So I bailed on my Basics Class.   Shortly there after I regretted this decision.  I just felt off for the first part of the weekend. Also, something pinched behind my left shoulder and nothing was loosening it up.  I contemplated joining in on one of the studio's Sunday classes, but eventually I talked myself out of that, because I was trying to keep a promise I made to myself to go nowhere on Sunday.  Then I remembered something a friend of mine asked me. "Why do you have to go to the studio? Why can't you do yoga at home?"  That's a good question.  One of the  great things about yoga (well, one of many) is that  you don't need a lot of equipment.  I have a mat. I have space. I'm good to go. 

I set up  a space in a spare room.  I've been to enough classes that I know how to start with the breathing and slowly work into a little flow sequence. I even tried to imagine the sound and pace of  Sharon's voice announcing the instructions.  I could do this. No problem.

It didn't work exactly as I planned. Actually, it went a little something like this:

"Find yourself a comfortable seated position on your mat with legs crossed and hands on knees."
(Remove the dog from your lap)
"Slowly, take a deep breath counting to 5 with your inhale. Do the same with your exhale, letting go of all the things that aren't present to you at this very moment."
(Try to ignore the sound of the dog grinding her teeth as she aggressively chews on a bone next to you.)
"Come up onto all fours to Table Top.  With your inhale lift your head and sits bones for Cow and with your exhale drop your head, and round your back for Cat."
(See the dog look at you strangely and then fuss at you by half-growling/half-whining as if to say "Why aren't you playing with me?")
"Reach your hands forward and lower your torso for Puppy Pose"
(See "puppy" demo the pose for you.)
"Inhale back to Table Top. With your exhale reach your left leg back with toes pointing down, and at the same time reach your right arm directly out in front of you."
(Try to maintain balanced and focus as dog decides to lick your toes.)
"Return to Table Top. This time with your exhale repeat the pose, by extending your right leg back and reaching your left arm forward."
" Exhale and return to Table Top"
"Take your right arm and insert it under your left  and lower down for Thread the Needle."
(Shoo away dog trying to lick your face.)
"Return back to Table Top. Repeat the pose by inserting your left arm under your right."
(Dog decides to leave the room)
"Inhale to Table Top and then exhale back into Downward Facing Dog, your inverted 'V' position. Pedal your feet back and forth, eventually finding some stillness in your pose."
(Dog returns to room with favorite toy, still wanting to play. Dog decides to lie underneath you to play with favorite toy showing you how much fun it is.)
"Move forward into Plank, your push-up position, and with your exhale lower your body down to the ground in one even movement"
(Grab the toy before lowering down and toss it into the other room so dog will move out of the way)
" With your inhale straighten your arms and arch your back for Cobra."
(Dog returns with favorite toy)
"With your exhale lift back into Downward Facing Dog."
(Exhale back into Downward Facing Dog Licking My Face.)

sigh....You get the picture. So I guess I'll be seeing everyone back in class on Tuesday. 




Emily said...

Crystal- this is Emily from your Level 1 class. I saw the link to your blog on the Barefoot Works blog! I love this post...I've have so many similar experiences, ie: dog laying down on mat while in down-dog, dog licking face in savasana....the list goes on. Thanks for making it to class yesterday, hope to see you next week!

Crystal said...

Not too worry Emily. You will most likely be seeing me at many more classed as I have found out that yoga at home doesn't work so well for me.