Friday, January 6, 2012

Aim True - Day Four

This entire sentence is a link to the class I am talking about today. =)

Learn to Kick Up in the Middle of the Room
Vinyasa Flow
Level 2
Kathryn Budig

A heat building and playful flow focused on inversions. Learn the tools to become comfortable with kicking up in the middle of the room. Explore the core strength and stability of the shoulders to adventure into forearm balance and two second series headstands. 

First posted on YogaGlo on April 3, 2010, I never took the class until today. This is not a shock. Kicking up in the middle of the room is one of my least favorite things in the world.

4/83 classes complete.
2/4 had taken at least once before.

Finally. Finally I don't feel like cement. Today was the day that I finally reconnected with MY body and MY practice of yoga. Don't get me wrong. This class was still more difficult for me than it would have been a year ago. But the cement days are over - for now - and I felt myself moving into a place of strength and endurance. It felt so, so, so good.

The most obvious place I feel stronger is in my shoulders and arms. This class had a LOT of opportunities for advanced inversions. I did not take those opportunities. I stuck with dolphin pose when Kathryn was teaching second series Ashtanga headstands. (Hell, I may stick with dolphin EVERY time someone teaches me second series Ashtanga headstands for the rest of my life, and I'm okay with that.) I used the strap around my upper arms and the block (this is such a genius use of props that for some reason I rarely take advantage of - I'm teaching it tomorrow for sure) and that was when I really started to realize that my shoulders were starting to feel stronger. I did headstand prep (essentially dolphin pose on the crown of your head) and whereas a few weeks ago I struggled to lift my shoulders enough to take it out of my neck, today I could have easily slid a piece of paper under my head, no problem. And it felt sweet and easy. Okay, not EASY like sitting on my ass watching a movie easy, but you know, EASY relative to yoga.

I obviously adore Kathryn Budig's style of teaching or I wouldn't have been taking her classes for so long, or have gone to Nashville for her backbend workshop, or have embarked on this challenge. And part of the reason I like taking her YogaGlo classes is because they challenge me, and they keep my practice at a level a bit more advanced than what I teach. But man, I think she skimps on the savasana. Just a couple of minutes is not nearly long enough for me to truly relax, truly drop in, truly start feeling and receiving the reverberations of my practice. But then again, I'm a Kripalu trained yoga teacher, and there is a lot more emphasis placed on the meditative side of yoga practice in the Kripalu tradition. I love that, I teach that, and when I practice on my own (which I decided today I'm going to do once a week in addition to my five KB classes) I focus on that. Maybe all of those LA yogis are just too type A to be still for any length of time. ;)

I'm excited aim true for a fifth day with my friend Christi tomorrow. She has a beautiful yoga room in her house, and we're going to practice together. And then watch movies and have cocktails. Yay!

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