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???"
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!