This might be surprising because I’m not really one to typically enjoy strenuous activity, but I love power/vinyasa yoga. The harder I sweat, the more worth my time a yoga class feels.* I want to leave feeling stretchy and a little sore.
If I’m dripping sweat like I just ran a mile in 100 degree weather, it’s been a good class. If I attempted, but failed a few poses, it’s been a good class. If I’m able to do every pose with relative ease? Eh, I’ll take it or leave it.
Today I took a Power Flow class at Yoga Nature. I felt like I was cheating on Om My Yoga,** but I really wanted to check the space out for the #yogaup at the end of September. The instructor I had was awesome. I loved how quickly she moved through vinyasa and she was very outgoing and welcoming. (She even made sure to talk to me before class since I was new to the studio.) The studio space is small, but very well lit and there are little statues of Hindu gods here and there. I’d really like to get a little statue of Ganesha for my apartment. I should make my living room more yoga-centric since that’s where I do all my home practice.
Oh, and they provide mats, blocks, straps, eye pillows and TOWELS! You have no idea how awesome I think it is that they provide towels. This very sweaty girl truly appreciates not having to remember a hand towel every time I take a class.
Anyhow, that’s not what I came here to write about. I came here to write about why I like to take a $15 class EVERY week.
It’s really not because I have a lot of extra cash lying around and I just want to spend it on things that I can brag about. In fact, I rarely leave a class feeling like I should brag. First off, that’s not very yogini like. Secondly, I always struggle with something — patience, a pose, remembering to breath the whole time, etc.
I take these classes for the hands on adjustments. I was reminded of this today when I got my hip pushed back and down in down dog. It felt so good. My back was straighter, my heels were more firmly rooted into the ground and the pose felt more balanced. And then again, in savasana. It’s so great when the instructor comes around and pulls your legs out longer and/or presses your shoulders into the ground. Mmmm.
When you practice at home, there’s no one to tell you to tilt your pelvis so the curve of your back is flatter. Or to tell you a variation on a pose that you’re just not quite ready for. Yoga is not something that can be conquered in a vacuum. You really should have someone more practiced and trained to guide you and push you forward. Someone to encourage you to go deeper into your practice. It’s a really great support system too. You can ask questions!
Of course, there’s also the fact that yoga studios almost always have the best smelling hand soap. Make sure you pee before you start your yoga flow. Seriously, I don’t know where they buy their soap, but it’s always eco-friendly, natural oil-based and smells freaking amazing.
* Except for Yin Yoga. I appreciate the stretchiness and relaxation that forces upon practitioners. In our crazy world, it’s good to slow down every now and then.
** I took the Shakti Power Flow at Om My Yoga last Wednesday and it worked me hard. I was sore for DAYS, in a fantastic way! The instructors there are so so great and they might be the most welcoming people I’ve ever met. That’s why I keep going back. Every class is different and they really encourage each instructor to let their own individual personality shine.