I went to a local yoga studio to start my yoga homework. Get out there and experience different styles of yoga. I found a class that led me to believe it was going to be an introduction to yoga. So much so that I invited my mum who is fairly stationary in her lifestyle to join me. The description was as follows:
This is a great class for beginners! This class moves at a slow to moderate pace and introduces students to the basics of the Ashtanga yoga practice – learn to move with your breath, learn the sun salutations, and basic standing and seated postures. This class will help increase your strength and flexibility, and will bring an awareness to your breath, which will undoubtedly help clear the mind and body of stress and tension.
Sounds pretty basic and mild….yes???
we arrived 15 minutes early to sign up as instructed on the website. We were greeted with the yoga instructor checking people in at the desk. He seemed very put off that he had to deal with “new people”. A fellow yogi came out to complain that people were taking up too much space and did the instructor want her to move people around. Yes he said. Now I am thinking the class is over full and we won’t get space. “Nope, no one is turned away we make room”, we are told. 39 people in a room that comfortable fits maybe 30. It was packed. Mum and I laid our mats down right at the door entrance. One of the few spots left when I noticed a space at the other side of the room. As I went to pick up the mat the instructor walks in and tells us to move. Not ask, tells. we are now on the other side of the room again right at the door and in front of alignment chairs. this is when I notice how hot it is in the room. I promised my mum who doesn’t take heat well that this was not a hot yoga class. Now to be fair it isn’t a hot yoga class but because the room is so humid and packed it is VERY hot in the room. I can feel sweat dripping down my back before we even start.
The instructor walks in, shuts the door (NO!!!! now we are trapped!!) introduces himself and says that the class is going to be slow moving and meant for beginners. Perfect!!! He mentions that there are all sorts of abilities in the room including other fellow instructors. To go at our own pace and remember to breathe. If you can’t keep up go to child’s pose. Just like that. No other explainations. Ok I think, he is going to instruct us how to breathe and pose. Nope!
we ground our feet and take a breathe and boom!!! down ward dog. right off the bat. Holy crap my legs are not ready for this. We then do about 15 sun salutations flow B’s which is basically hinged at the waist step back into plank then downward dog step forward, and stand up again. I am winded. Trying to match my breathe to my moves is all I can think about, well that and If you are new to this you are going to hyperventilate.
I happened to be standing in front of the thermostat and noticed the time. OMG!!! we have only been in here 15 minutes????!!!! The time on that thing must be broken Nope it’s right!!!!! I am sweating, my heart is racing, my mum has been in childs pose for most of that 15 minutes. Unable to keep up. I keep asking her if she is ok. She says yes. but 25 minutes into the 75 minute class she walks out. I won’t lie I kinda want to follow her. But I am determined to finish this class.
The class continues on to some of the most complicated moves I have ever seen or done. The instructor repeats that there are other teachers in the room so go at our own pace. Hinting that we shouldn’t be trying to keep up with them. Who the heck is trying??? I am just try to get into the pose before he moves to another one. I suppose this was his way of giving people permission to be where they need to be without ever telling us that we can stay at the basic pose while he went into 3 more difficult versions of each pose. I try each one for the experience but revert back to the “basic” pose so I don’t hurt myself or worse die!
More downward dogs. By now the instructor has told us it’s going to get hot in the room…..GOING TO??? I am getting dizzy, starting to feel sick to my stomach. Sweating. I start to hang out in child’s pose instead of another what felt like 100 downward dogs. I can’t do anymore. My shoulders are burning, my hips and thighs are screaming.
I am so close to the alignment chairs that my hands are in the legs of the chairs while I am doing my cobra pose my chin hovering against the legs. This sucks!
We move down to the mat and asana time. Thank god! I can catch my breathe. I wipe my sweaty brow on my shirt for the 4 time and lay down. He turns off the music. “now asana and breathe” He tells us he will bring us out in 5 minutes with 3 bells. Literally that is all he says. The room is silent.
3 bells later we sit up “thanks everyone that is class”
The doors open and the next class starts to pile in looking for their spot. Not very Zen in my mind. I feel like I am rushed out of the room. which is actually ok. I need fresh air and find my mum. she has been sitting in the lobby waiting for me. I feel bad. I should have left with her.
I hear a few mutters of “wow that was a hard class” the instructor says “oh really, I didn’t think so”. I am thinking if half of the people are saying it was hard…..it was hard!!! An older lady says to me. I don’t think this class is for me. I have bad knees and I couldn’t do half the class. I said “I have a bad hip and I didn’t do the whole class either, you do what feels right for you and prop your body up. If you can’t bend your knees sit on a block”. She said she did notice that I did modify my self. I think to myself. I hope she doesn’t stop just because of this one class. Another women who I think was a bit of a regular walked up to us and said “don’t be discouraged it gets better”.
It was a very misleading class. I think I will try this class again. Alone and with a different instructor. Maybe even during the day instead of a Saturday morning. Less people hopefully.
I am still catching my breathe