My 30 Day Yoga Challenge…

Good Morning.

I’m a yoga school dropout. Or, recycle is probably a better term. Between my Grandmother entering Hospice, and my mother’s medical challenges, not to mention my ligament free ankle, I decided to recycle my registration to the fall class at Yogaworks. It begins on September 6 and meets every weekend until December. Blessedly, the administration there credited my full tuition to the next class, plus a small (not so small to me, but extremely reasonable in the scheme of things) transfer fee.

Bless their collective hearts. I am always surprised at how nice people here in Cali can be. Truthfully, I am always surprised and grateful at anyone’s kindness. I never expect it.

Maybe I should. But that’s another blog.

So, while I have no control over my grandmother’s decline or my mother’s health, I can manage my own athletic state. And I am horribly out of shape. I could blame last summer’s fall that disassembled my ankle, or I can discuss my 24-hour shift work in the medical profession, or I can just blame my mother’s cooking, but whatever it is–I’m guessing all three, plus maybe a large dose of laziness–I am twenty pounds heavier and physically weak. Which makes the two and half hour asana practices challenging to the point of perhaps inciting a cardiac incident (remember, I’m no longer a spring chicken, more like a fully feathered hen). It’s been so long, I’ve also forgotten how to do many of the poses correctly. Fortunately, with age comes wisdom, and postponing my training for seven months will give me ample time to get into shape. And up my (yoga) game, as it were.

As long as I get my chubby little tush in gear.

Hence the title.

So here it is; for 30 days I will do yoga. In class. Every day. With no excuses. All different types. With as many instructors I can find without going bankrupt. I will discuss my yoga experience, gently critique the instructor, and analyze any emotional or spiritual changes I experience as a result of my practice.

So here goes.

Saturday, February 8. The first day. A yoga maxim is, “when you’re blocked, go back to basics,” which is just what I’ve done with a Yoga Basics class with Lisa at the Studio, Danville, CA. Since I’m a member and they offer plenty of class choices, most of my class work will originate from there, I suspect. At about ten people, it was a relatively small class with many different ages and fitness levels represented. Lisa is a relatively new instructor there, having replaced Laurie, my favorite Yin instructor of all time. She has a more fitness oriented view of yoga and proved in that hour and fifteen minutes that with the right teacher, even a basic level yoga practice can work up a sweat. By the end of the class, I was slipping and sliding all over my mat. I was never so grateful for the wicking capacity of my workout attire than I was then. Oh, and note to self–go to lulu and buy a mat towel. Yoga can work up quite a glow. Pardon the euphemism, but I’m so sparkly, I could slip and break something. Kinda like those goofy vampires. Only you want them to break something.

But I digress. I’m surprisingly not sore after the workout. Maybe it was the twenty minutes I spent in the hot tub, but it’s been my experience that when you do yoga correctly with a good instructor, there’s no real long term soreness.

I slept really well that night. So on to day two.

February 9. I attended my customary Yin class, also taught by Lisa. As I discussed, she replaced Laurie as the instructor for this class. She definitely has a more fitness format. We began with our legs up the wall and worked from there. Designed by Buddhist monks to aid in the practice of meditation, Yin Yoga is the practice of the mystics. It opens up the fascia–or deep tissue–by extending the time spent in a pose. It is powerful and restorative and you can injure yourself horribly if you do it wrong. Lisa was careful, and no one did it wrong. Yin really opens me up spiritually and I will often have random visionary experiences pop into my brain while holding a pose. Today it was a pink lotus. It began closed and opened up through the practice until it was fully opened. Extremely detailed, I saw the gradations of pink to white on its petals. The petals fell off during svasana, but beneath those falling petals was yet another bud, white with a hint of pink, waiting to grow.

Yoga can be incredibly cool if you open yourself to the experience.

February 10. Slept ok. Woke up with sore feet. As your feet are yoga’s foundation, they definitely get a workout. I missed the hot tub yesterday and I chalk up my brief discomfort to this.



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