Monday, January 2, 2012

Aim True - Day One

10:15am - pre-practice.

This is NOT a New Year's resolution. This is just a new project I HAPPEN to be starting at the beginning of a new year.

2012 - a new LEAP year at that, which is something that really excites me. The last leap year (2008) was a year of profound, positive change and transformation for me, so I'm hoping that history repeats itself.

On to the project. As a way to jump start my practice and improve my teaching of yoga, I'm going to take all of Kathryn Budig's YogaGlo classes. I think there are 86 of them as of today. My goal is five classes a week, which will take me somewhere into May, seeing as there will probably be one added at least every week.

Part of this project isn't just doing the yoga classes, but also writing about them afterward. I'm going to start from the beginning and take the classes in order and do the very best I can.

Today's class:
Open and Strengthen Shoulders and Core
Vinyasa Flow
Level 2
Kathryn Budig
Description: Sweat, action, focus and breath are the tools to work toward a long, well-deserved and deeply satisfying Savasana. A well rounded practice focusing on opening and strengthening the shoulders and core.

This class was posted on YogaGlo on March 4, 2010, and I originally took on Wednesday, December 22, 2010.

You can practice right along with me here.


11:35am - after practice.
Cement. I am made entirely of cement. My muscles, flesh, skin, joints - all cement. Hello, I am the cement-woman.

Or at least that's how I felt for the first 30 minutes of this (excellent) class. Okay, and for the last 30 minutes, too.

Lesson learned: I am as out of practice as I feared, and definitely not as in good of shape as I was a year ago. And I do want to change that, but not in the traditional New Year's resolution way that I only associate with failure. Kathryn said a couple of times something along the lines of "let go of agenda and be open to transformation." That's EXACTLY what I struggle with. I want to make an agenda for the transformation I seek. I love reading (and doing) 30-day cleanse plans, 2-week makeover plans, highly-regimented, planned out meals and exercise schedules... but when I try to do those things, the minute I take one tiny detour (miss a workout, splurge on ice-cream) I give up and throw in the towel. I give myself no room to be human. That's exactly why I'm approaching this project, which at the core IS somewhat of an "agenda" for a certain transformation that I seek, from a place of total simplicity: Do a KB YogaGlo class five days a week and write about it as soon as possible afterward. My hope is that everything else: lifestyle changes, better nutrition, a more regular sleep schedule, more ease and peace in relationships, etc. will follow WITHOUT me having to put it all on an agenda.

Having taken a LOT of Kathryn's classes, this one was really interesting, because it's apparent that her level 2 class of two years ago is not her current level 2 class. This class was a little more beginner-focused, with a lot of emphasis on proper alignment for chaturanga and almost mini-workshoping it (for example, chaturanga from plank on the knees with ankles crossed and feet lifted, over and over again, which, umm, really burns!) and opportunities for child's pose more often than I'm used to in her classes. AND THIS WAS IDEAL FOR ME TODAY. I loved it. Let me be clear - this was a CHALLENGING class. I got nice and sweaty. But it was challenging in that it worked on the building blocks of a lot of poses I take for granted and really forced me to focus a LOT on my shoulders and core. 

I read a quote recently that said "practicing [yoga] is more difficult than teaching." It's so true. I teach a LOT of yoga every week, and that involves me physically DOING a lot of yoga every week, but it's more piecemeal, not often a full 60 to 90 minute non-stop practice with someone else calling the shots.

And, of course, I ate my fair share of Humboldt Fog and prime rib and cookies and chocolates and wine and more wine (and, umm, more wine) this holiday season. Let's be honest.

Here's to my body maybe feeling a little LESS like cement on day two! (But if it does, I'll make peace with that and get through another cement-practice as best I can.)

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