The inner yogini, days 3 and 4

Sunday January 17, Day 3, Moksha Yoga

I’ve taken yoga classes all over and I’ve learned what I like in an instructor and what I don’t. Often liking or not liking an instructor a matter of taste- their style, their voice, their tone of voice. At the last gym I belonged to there was one instructor that I couldn’t stand. Her voice was very slow and low. It was… breathy. Sometimes it seemed like she was affecting what she thought a “soothing” voice should be. Instead, it grated on me. During class with her (and I can’t remember if I took one with her or two) I had to resist bolting from the room when she encouraged, “Make the pose feel delicious!” My inner dialogue went something like,

“That’s it. I’m out of here.”
“You can’t leave during yoga. It’s un-yoga-like.”

The word delicious, applied to a yoga posture, seemed wrong. It seemed kind of gross. Void of meaning. Out there. The invisible restraints, the ones in my mind, came out. I share this story on occasion. Sometimes it’s to illustrate how I feel about various yoga voices. In the past, when I was still a gym member, I told it to people who were considering her class. Some people liked her.

I share this story now because yesterday in my restorative class while doing some relaxing pose or another I thought, “This pose feels delicious.” and then kind of felt strange about the descriptor because of that previous experience. In this instance, here’s what “delicious” meant: It felt good. Nourishing. Melty. My body and spirit were content. I’ve now taken two restorative classes at this studio. Two different instructors. Both completely different classes, both wonderful. After yesterday’s class I felt great. Relaxed, contented. Instead of rushing home I sat in a coffee shop reading a magazine and chilled out. Sitting and reading in coffee shops is something I enjoy but tend to forget to do. Instead I tether myself to my laptop.

Restorative yoga is a wonderful thing. I consider it “active rest”. It’s passive stretching, but stretching nonetheless. It’s showing up. You just kind of chill out in the pose.

Monday January 18, Day 4, IAM Yoga (Hatha class)

The opposite of “chilling out”? Whatever the heck today was. There’s hot yoga, then there’s what I now understand “hotter than Hades” means.  The Moksha studio is kept between 38 & 40 degrees Celcius (100-104F). I don’t know what the IAM studio was today but it felt hotter, unbearably so (and I like hot yoga!). My fingers pruned a little. My fingers have never pruned in a class! I left the room again. My form had been sloppy. I’d been taking time outs. Popular consensus today was that the room was hotter than usual. I heard that recently the temperature’s been increased. This will make for an interesting 40 days, especially as I try to do as many classes at that studio as is convenient.

As I’ve said before, showing up is part of the battle.

Scheduling this week is kind of tricky. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do a Wednesday class because of an evening meeting. 6:30am classes are NOT an option. Lunch time classes might be.

I guess that scheduling is part of the challenge.

Ending on a short food note

I made steel cut oats in the slow cooker overnight last night with great results, using Alton Brown’s recipe with a little modification. Using his proportions but replacing half-and-half with table cream (recipe leftover from the weekend), I also omitted the cranberries and used the golden berries that I’d wanted to use up for awhile but needed to find a good use for.  They’re usually too tart for my taste but cooked overnight in liquid they plumped up and became juicy, their tartness slightly cut. Some goji berries were also in the mix, with dried fig and dried banana pieces. The best part of steel cut oats made in the slow cooker is the crust around the edge of the pot. Remembering the tendency for oats to stick (I can be taught, huzzah!) I sprayed the vessel with non-stick spray before use. Tasty, tasty stuff.

Until next time…

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