Thursday, January 12, 2012

Aim True - Day 7

Today's class.

Tap Your Arm Balance Potential
Vinyasa Flow
Level 2
Kathryn Budig


Tap into your innate potential with arm balances! Learn the steps to making these beautiful and inspiring poses accessible. Warm up the body with vinyasa flow to prepare for crow, side crow, side plank variation and flying pigeon.

  • First posted on April 13, 2010 and never taken before today.
  • 7/84 classes complete.
  • 3/7 I had taken at least once before.

This class is a perfect example of why I ADORE Kathryn. It's almost hard to figure out exactly how she does it, but she makes REALLY advanced postures feel completely accessible, teaches them with great attention to alignment detail, and doesn't make you feel shitty if you have to stay in the pre-pre-pre-prep the whole damn time, and in fact, celebrates that process. She specifically said that it took her a "long, long, long, long, LONG time" (there may have been one more or one less "long" in that quote) to do the arm balance, flying pigeon, and to really understand it. (Hey, by the way, that link is to a challenge pose blog written by Kathryn herself on how to do flying pigeon, or Eka Pada Galavasana, in the comfort of your own home!) She admitted that while the learning process is frustrating, now she wishes she could go back to those times when she fell on her face again and again (and again) and enjoy the juicy process - the joy of those tiny moments of success that take you closer and closer to the full posture. Imaging Kathryn, yoga-goddess extraordinaire, struggling with anything is sort of impossible, but I actually believe her. And it makes me feel better about staying in my "little tiny race car" (click the link to see all of the pre-pre-pre-prep I'm talking about) while the majority of the people on the computer screen rock their flying pigeons. It also harkens back to that Joni Mitchell lyric (everything does): "don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone..."

What I've found with these classes, and what I've realized about yoga practice generally, is that it's just that: a PRACTICE. It's not about being able to do the "final" version of any given posture, but it's practicing, slow and steady, to get there. Knowing the whole time that your body may NEVER get into flying pigeon in this lifetime. These classes that are just slightly above what I can practice comfortably really challenge me - I get nice and sweaty but I never feel as though I'm in danger of hurting myself. And I feel GREAT when it's done. Endorphins in a stretched out, open body are the BEST endorphins, ever. Or at least I think so, hence my yoga addiction/obsession/career. ;)

My mantra for this practice, which I set as my intention at the very beginning, was "I am strong." I wanted to put some trust in my strength because that NYT article really did put a scare in me about pressing to hard. But that's the balance, right? Ugh, balance. It's so hard to find. In yoga and in life.

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