Monday, April 09, 2012

Yoga studio...

A couple of weeks ago DH bought me a membership at the local yoga studio and just one class into it and I realized how much I was missing yoga. My regular yoga practice has dropped down to about once a week and after that when I sank my shoulder blades into a downward facing dog two days in a row; it reminded me how rare my upper body routine has been for past few months.

Last year when I encountered IT band pain due to lack of stretching and sporadic but longer runs, I joined Bikram Yoga classes for a few weeks. It is yoga practiced in hot (105F) and humid room to stimulate the weather condition of west Bengal India where the founder of Bikram yoga belongs too. The heat helps open up the joints and sweat releases impurities and those classes helped me relax my hip joint, outer thigh muscles.

Fast forward to now, I am back at following the routine, at least 4 times week and it does get challenging with a full time job that leaves only evenings for taking group classes but so far I managed fine. My current yoga studio offers ‘Hot yoga’ similar to above mentioned and it is best detox anyone can wish for. The poses are a gentle series of 26; and focus a lot on building the core and rediscovering the balance, something all of us can use in a rushed fast paced modern lifestyle.
With the frequent visits to the yoga studio and trying to up my running mileage, I have figured that ‘pigeon pose’ is the best to open up the hip joint and to find the much needed relaxation for the IT band pain. There is a certain excitement in the contradiction that lets you passively sink into a pose and allows the body to dictate the severity of the workout. After the lingering stretch, there is a meditative quality to feeling the sensation of muscles rather than jerking it back to the active lifestyle.
I am enjoying both styles of yoga, the series of active poses and also the passively pleasure of sinking into that pose rather than forcing it; mostly based on the day I had that led to the class. Something that my yoga teacher said that stuck with me was that, ‘body is part of nature and it will follow its own course, just like you can’t force the petals of a bud to rush it into bloom you can push your body without jeopardizing its wellbeing’.
That said I love my Barre body classes as well. It pushes you to hold small muscle groups that you didn’t know existed into active poses which gives fast results. After the first few classes, I swear if I had just followed the fatigue lines and drew over them, I could have developed my own personal muscle diagram.
I haven’t lost any weight in these last two weeks but I can feel that I am walking taller and the pants are fitting better….

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