The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it ~ Michelangelo
You’d think after 2.5 hours of yoga the day before, you wouldn’t want to do more, but we did! my butt was really sore for some reason (what?!). And we thought the first class this day would be nice a relaxing. It was called ‘Happy Hatha Basics’ but after 2.5 hours yesterday, man were we exhausted even after this first class! I wasn’t very happy by the end!
The teacher started the class introducing herself individually to everyone and asked if we had any issues she needed to know about – and said ‘just soften and relax and take it easy’. She warmed up with cat cow, then thread the needle. then crescent lunge and down dog Then did a couple sun salutations (and fwd folds) and then warrior 2 and reverse and side angle. and pyramid and half splits. She went from warrior 1 into tree pose(and then shook it out after tree)
There was lots of focus on heart opening – (like crescent lunges) and triangle (with one hand holding one wrist and rotating chest open), and lizard (on the side of the foot that’s out to the side, to open the hips. She said we store junk (emotional junk) in the hips. and also a twist like triangle but with our knee down on the ground and lifting our arm up.
She moved from standing to seated where she did a unique boat pose thing where she had us cover our eyes with our legs closed in boat (beginners) and then open the arms wide and legs wide, and then bring them both in and closed again (inhaling and exhaling) – she called it ‘peeking duck’!
When we ended the class with 1 om, she stopped/interrupted our om and made us start again because our pitch was off! (she explained she’s in choir)…but I thought that was awful to do that!
The teacher had notes on stage with her which was encouraging to see! I will be doing that too i’m sure!
She started with Om and breath of joy to energize (which I loved! 3 part breath (with arms up to middle, out to sides and all the way up, and then woodchopper HA! down)., then cat cow and your own version of child’s pose (and moving child’s pose).
The class was basically a bunch of very slow, mindful sun salutations (including crescent lunge with back bends), and then standing postures (warrior 1, warrior 2, reverse, triangle) and then into malasana (a squat) and then dandasana (staf pose) and seated forward fold and butterfly (with flapping legs) – and then a more relaxed butterfly with legs wider (feet further away), and then ended with legs up the wall (in the air) before shavasana.
She used mudras during the practice which I thought was neat. Near the beginning of class (while still in seated postures, she had us do the peace mudra (peace fingers and then placed them on the ground while breathing).
Near the end of class she did another mudra set – water mudra (left palm upwards) and shiva mudra (with right hand in fist, thumb sticking up) put on the palm of the left hand – so shiva sitting in calming waters. (she told me after class she has a passion for mudras and incorporates them in all her classes).
When we were on the floor breathing in child’s pose at the end she had a great quote that I loved that we are all 99% space and only .0001 matter, so to feel the space in us as we breathe.
When we were in seated prayer at the end she ended with a prayer: may all beings be peaceful, may all beings be happy, may all beings be safe. May all beings awaken to the light of their true nature. May all beings be safe. Namaste.
3rd Class – the Science of Yoga (a yin class)
.The teacher explained how yoga is a controlled stress on your body – retraining your nervous system. During the postures she kept saying: it’s about ‘acceptance and letting go’ – how do you feel in this posture? how does your body feel? accept it and let it go.
We did the seal pose again (which i’d never heard of before the expo!). She had us in pigeon pose for a really long time which was uncomfortable for me. She read stuff from cards (about how yoga works on your body) which was very off putting because you could tell she was reading from cards!)
One thing she said that I liked was: ‘we have issues in our tissues’ – we hold a lot of emotions in our bodies and yoga helps with that.
4th Class – Come Out Tune In
I really enjoyed this class because the teacher went into a bit of the other 8 limbs of yoga (the yamas (how you connect with the world – non harming etc) and niyamas (own personal growth and development – cleanliness etc), as well as pratyahara (withdrawl of the senses and dharana and dhyana (concentration and focusing on a single point respectively).
The sequence of his class was: pranayama, slow/gentle hatha to warm up, more vigorous vinyasa flow, and then finish with yin! During having us do planks he talked about pratyahara – focus. and also dyana and dharana.
After the vigorous stuff, he transitioned to a yin section at the end with and into childs pose again and did bumblebee breath pranayama! (my new favourite breath exercise)