May 6 Intro to wall, 7th hot yin, 8th hot flow*, 9th Hot Yin, 10th Hot Yin, 11th Hot Yin & KYMA, 12th Hot Yin, 13th Hot Yin, 14th Hot Flow, 15th Warm Ashtanga, 16th Hot flow
So whataya know, seems I’m not invincible after all;) I type this entry, in part, from bed today, with swollen knees and elbows…..and wrists. Not too worry Yoga, it’s not your fault, it’s yours Rheuma…whatever your name is. 90% of my Yoga journey has been experienced, based on pure, unwavering, instinct. When I began 76 days ago, it felt right to do Hot Yin, for my body had being in, what felt like, cemented knots for close to a decade. The idea of heat and long-held stretching, felt like the right way to start to unwind this pretzel body of mine. The restorative classes (Physio-Logic~highly recommend btw), also inspired my body to open-up and ‘trust’. It seemed, around 4 weeks ago, that I was ready to move on….. to the next level. See, I am through and through a ‘systems’ gal. My mind works this way; Everything has a beginning, middle and end, a straightforward march…right?
So with this mindset, I slowly began moving onto the ‘next wave’ of classes. ‘On the wall’ was my first, then the ass-kicking TRX, which isn’t Yoga, yet an experience I wanted to have….and experience I did, lemme tell ya. After a few weeks, I felt ready to try the Flow, Ashtanga classes. This is where stuff got tricky. Right off the hop, my logic began to show signs that it was in fact, flawed. I thought that I needed to do a few weeks of TRX in order to prepare myself for the ‘flow’ classes ( when I refer to flow, I mean non passive type Yoga, the kind that has one moving constantly, getting the old heart rate up). I learned that I was actually doing this back-asswards, sort of. First off, there is no ‘right way’..per se of doing all of this, tho pretty sure there’s a wrong way…and I think I found it:)
I thought the flow classes were harder than TRX. Oh contraire. Regardless, after a few ass whippings at TRX, I tried ‘Hot Flow’. It was hard, as I’ve mentioned, but I got through it. Like anything new and hard, I was very aware that the more I did it, the better I would become. For me, I’ve seen Yoga practice as a bit of a hill climber, and once the ‘summit’ was reached, I feel/felt that I could stay and practice, while enjoying the ‘view’.
This is still the goal, though not sure 100% if this is how it will all pan out.
I went into the May 8th Hot flow class confident. I had done one or two before and gotten thru. My goal now, was to better my postures, connect my breath to the poses as I do them, all while building up my stamina. See I wanted to experience what I did in Yin.
At one point, after weeks and weeks of doing Hot Yin, I had a break-thru. I was able to reach goals within the class, that made the whole 60-75 minutes feel like a fun and exhilarating ‘trip’, not a ‘holy sheep dip, this is hard’ type-venture’. I worked diligently, and it paid off.
Good! Done and done!
Except then my mind began to get lazy. I started just going thru the motions. I could hear my ego casually saying, “been here, done this”, but then words of wisdom from Bonnie, my meditation teacher came to me; “Enter each class with a beginners mind”. Great advice, and one I implemented immediately.
This is what I wanted/want with these other classes, to experience the joy of the practice. I’ve made peace with the reality of what one has to go thru in order to achieve any state of nirvana. Trust me, the trip is unbelievably worth it. Pardon the following analogy, but it’s true:
Finding one’s groove in Yoga, is like finally finding the right kind of lover, and if you’re of a similar mind-set, it’s very much worth the wait ( a ‘shout out’ to my ever awesome husband of 14 years:)
Sometime after the May 8th class, my neck began to feel sore, so I resigned myself to doing Hot Yin only. A few days later, on Monday (14th), I decided to tackle Hot Flow again. Initially it was harder, but my neck was feeling good, so into it I went. The next day I thought “hey, let’s be all crazy and such and try Ashtanga”. My plan was to actually go to a Neck and Shoulder Physio-Logic class, PRIOR to doing anything new, but drama on the home front, prevented this, so there I was in my first Ashtanga class.
Note: Due to the ‘family teenage son, continual drama’ I grabbed the wrong bag and arrived late, with no Yoga clothes, Sweet Jaysus! The staff at YP, graciously provided me with a t-shirt; This with my cotton-roll up pants was my attire for THIS, my FIRST Ashtanga class.
So….with my improper get-up ( Yes, it makes a HUGE difference what one wears to Yoga, not brand wise, it just needs to be breathable especially for this ‘sveater’ of a gal) there I was, off to A.land. To say this style of Yoga isn’t challenging, would be like saying having a teenage son is a ‘walk in the park’. I was sooooo tempted to whip my borrowed t-shirt off, including the bra(mine), which was glued to my drenched body and just go ‘au natural’, but…..I didn’t, lucky neighbors. Despite it all, I finished and did my very best, which considering my insane discomfort, was admirable. I really enjoyed the instructional, repetition of Ashtanga, I really did, it seemed to speak to the nerd in me.
That evening I began to feel sore, really sore. When I have felt sore during these last few months, it was mostly from the ‘good ol’ variety’. My usual sore is that of the illnesses, so THIS kind of sore, was a welcoming kind. The next day though, I felt like kicking this pain to the curb, no longer feeling so ‘welcoming’ to it. I recall the beginnings of anger brewing deep within, an automatic occurence with me when I’m feeling a bout approaching.
On some level, I began to think, I’m just too f*%king old, have I maybe been kidding myself this whole time? Can a woman of 40ishness, with all this immune disease crap, really be able to do this? Dunno, but I sure as shit am gonna keep trying….So with that, I booked myself into a Hot Flow class. I smiled to all I encountered as I entered YP, putting on a brave face, engaging my mounting pain- which stopped feeling like the good ol’ workout pain, and began feeling like the ‘Mutha-friggin, arthritis bout kind-of pain’…officially. Regardless, I continued into class, my ego in full bloom. Can’t recall who exactly I was fighting, the pain, my ego or both?
The heat is great and has helped me on so many fronts like:
~releasing emotions~toxins~major skin care booster~
Just to name a few
One aspect to be wary of, for me, is not knowing when I have gone ‘too far’. I don’t feel it as I am doing it, though I can and have, afterwards.
As of last night, I was experiencing a full-blown ’bout’ ( my term for when my RA decides to take a painful march throughout my entire body). I didn’t sleep all night, due to much anger at myself for allowing my ego to win, and to all the pain. Because I no longer take pain meds, I suffered something fierce, and tried everything to distract my mind, including shouting obscenities at the ‘Kardashians‘ ( trust me, that’s all that was on @3am).
I awoke’ early and with that, my sweet pea of a daughter took over, and did what needed doing, including turning back on the heating pad/ freezing ice packs for my ‘wow-es knees’, bringing her Mama h2o and freshly brewed coffee…..Bless her. Knowing my triggers all too well, I knew I had to get up and begin moving about.
I went to, what I like to refer to as My Hot Narda Thursday Yin class‘. I call it this because a) my teacher is über beautiful, both inside and out, and b) her teaching style is one of gentleness and open-mindedness, lots of ‘esses’:) It wasn’t an ‘easy’ class, never is if I’m having a bout, but it helped, even if only a wee bit.
I’m o.k-ish, some 5 hours later, and having reflected on what went ‘wrong’ with my Yoga ‘system’ plan of attack, I realize that this ‘trip’ I’m on is one that will take me not always straight up the mountain side, but into valley’s and dare I say ravines. Within these times of ‘discontent and confusion’, I learn much, and with this adjust accordingly.
My ‘monkey mind’ needs taming, my language needs to soften (no more referencing thoughts of ‘attack and war’), and in doing so, my prayer for myself is to wise up and proceed with a better sense of calm, and love for this ‘trooper’ body of mine.