Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Non-Heated Hot Yoga

Groupon offers a lot of deals that I would never dream of using. However, AK found a deal that was pretty unbeatable. It was for a month of unlimited yoga for like 29 when the real price would be over 100. That's a good deal. The studio is in Long Beach and we decided to take a morning Saturday class, and for the first class, we had to be there 30 to 20 minutes early to fill out forms.

So on a cold Saturday morning at 6:45, we headed to Long Beach, where it's even colder. We walked in and it was thankfully warm. We signed in, got these nifty keychains that we can now scan when we go to class as a sign in, and walked to the front of the room. AK was like, I don't mind the back either, so we then quickly moved to the back. The woman in front of me was like, No one ever wants the front. Heh heh. True. Whenever I teach any class--no matter what it is--composition, poetry, yoga, aerobics--no one wants the front.

Two men sat behind us. I thought to myself, oh man they look like grunters. They were not. Phew.

When the class started, I couldn't hear a word the instructor said. She told us to lay down on our backs to begin and when she walked to the front of the room, I heard only music (but it was yoga music--also smelled like patchouli, mmmm). I've never started a class on my back before. Since I'd gone out the night before and gotten to bed around 1 AM and I'd gotten up at 6ish, beginning on my back was not a good idea since I was wanting to fall asleep. Ooooh, I could have slept there forever, except that the room was feeling toasty. I little too toasty. I got a little worried that the heat was going to be a problem, set off my vertigo, perhaps kill me.

My shoulder had started to hurt the night before, so I was also dealing with that even while lying down. But the heat was good for it as we started to move. Also as we started to move, the instructor's voice got louder and we were both off and yoga-ing.

I was sweating almost immediately. I'm an easy sweater (not the cardigan kind, the wet kind). In a room at 70 degrees with very little movement, I'm gonna start dripping. It was a good sweat. Some sweats are uncomfortable, like when you're all gussied up in tight tight jeans and high high pointy toed heels and a tight tight boob shirt and you're walking blocks and blocks through the city in the summer to get to a bar to milk an overpriced drink and then walk all the way back to Penn Station. That's a bad bad sweat. This sweat was a good sweat. Yoga sweat is good.

The instructor had a slight accent that I couldn't place, but it was soothing. I'm a sucker for accents (even though I can't mimic them). Her adjustments were gentle at first. She would touch my hip and I would bring it forward. She would nudge my shoulder and I would open it out.

And then the insanity began. I was in down dog and she came over, put her hands along my back to really flatten it, and then, she goes, And reach your head to the floor relax the neck good good good. Before I knew what was happening, she got my head to the mat in down dog. I've never realized how much tension I hold when I think I'm dropping my head. I was really happy that I got my head to the mat.

And then the insanity went up a notch. We were in camel. Think up on your knees and reaching your arms back so your hands rest on your heels. AK did the smart thing and switched between reaching with her right and reaching with her left. I can barely get into this pose, but did my awful best. The instructor helped me. Here, "helped" means "almost broke me in half." She pushed my hips forwards, rounded my arms back, and tipped my head all the way back. Good good good nice, she said.

As soon as she walked away, I collapsed forwards and drank some water. Surprisingly, I wasn't sweating any more than a little and I'd adjusted to the heat. The only drawback to the heat was some hand slipping at certain points.

She moved onto inversions, which I don't do. Afterwards, AK asked if I don't do them for a certain reason. Yup, I feel claustrophobic and like my neck is going to snap. I normally don't even attempt to go into them because instructors would come over and "help" me, and I freak out when someone grabs my ankles, and that's how they "help" so I avoid them. Here, however, I did slight variations, but only when the instructor wasn't near me because I didn't want her to rip me in half, literally.

The end of class came quickly. We'd started a few minutes later, and even still, it felt too soon. Coming out of savasana, I felt very sweaty but also loose and stress-free. Ahhhh, I love yoga. AK and I were like, that was a really good class! We grabbed our stuff, thanked the instructor, and went downstairs to put our shoes on. We'd taken them up with us and realized we should have taken them off at the door, which was where a pile of everyone else's shoes were. It was a cramped space to put them on, but by that point we were quite flexible. We're looking forward to the hot class at a balmy 90 degrees. I wonder what shapes I can curve myself into at that temperature.

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