Saturday, August 10, 2013

Exercise Adventure: Ashtanga Yoga

I mentioned yesterday that I had returned to Yoga after a hiatus. It's funny... I love Yoga...but I am so inconsistent about it. And since I am inconsistent, I never really get "good" at it. Last Sunday was my first class in months, and it felt so good that I promised myself I would do better from now on.

When I woke up yesterday, I thought to myself, "How should I spend my last free Friday?" (After today, I will go back to working Monday-Friday instead of Monday-Thursday.) I scoped out the Yoga offerings at the gym we belong to, but there wasn't anything for today except beginner Yoga, and I didn't want that. Then I remembered Om Yoga in Fort Mill.

Last summer, I really wanted to try out Om Yoga, but I never got around to it. So today, when I saw there was a noon class (AND first visits are free), I decided to give it a go.

Only one problem: what the heck was Ashtanga Yoga?!

I've taken Power Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga... But never Ashtanga. I called the studio to see if they thought I would be able to take the class (being a little out of practice) and they said to come on and give it a try. It turns out that Ashtanga Yoga is like Power Yoga, but the series of poses and flow is always the same. Sometimes the instructor gives out a handout with the sequence on it to the group and you can choose to follow the instructor or go at your own pace.

I loved the way the girl at the front desk showed me around and kind of told me where I might want to set up. She also helped me to feel at ease about taking the class. The studio is really pretty and SO different from a typical aerobics room.

While I was waiting for the class to begin, I started a conversation with one of the other participants. She said, "Have you ever been here before?" When I told her I was new, she said, "And you started with THIS class?! This class is HARD!"

I thought to myself... "What have I gotten myself into???"

(What's with the footprints on my mat? I must have walked right over it in my dusty flip flops!)

Class began the way a typical yoga class might begin- with a purpose statement. I knew right away that I really liked the instructor. She was very real and calm and funny, too!

Then came something that was way different from other classes. We started chanting! We said a mantra together, and I literally have no idea what we said because I am pretty sure it was in Sanskrit. Seriously, I am not joking. At this point, I was still wondering if I should run for the hills.

But once we got going, it was awesome! It was hard, but I was so proud of myself for being able to keep up! I loved the hands-on personal attention the instructor gave everyone. If you weren't lined up quite right, she would come over and "fix you." I thought it would be weird for someone to come over and push or pull on my body during Yoga, but it really wasn't weird. I promise.

The first 30-40 minutes of class was intense- lots of sun salutations, quick flow. But then we moved to slower poses and finally down to the floor. At the end, I was dripping with sweat!

Then came the best part. Just before the Savasana, the teacher came around and dropped a lavendar-scented, cold wet towel onto our mats to put over our eyes. Umm...can I just tell you that it was absolute heaven? Those few minutes of Savasana were probably the most relaxed moments of my week.

I can't wait to go back and try out some more of their classes, and now I don't have to be scared of Ashtanga Yoga any more.

If you're local, you should definitely check them out!

Namaste, y'all.



  1. Nice story! Thanks for sharing.


  2. I've been going in for yoga in Fairfield County for a while now. I really enjoy it.


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