Wednesday, October 1, 2008

"Slow-Paced" Yoga

I should have known better.

I tagged along with my parents to their weekly yoga class, and, just because it is composed of a handful of senior citizens, some of them with major physical limitations, I thought it would be easy.

Slow-paced, indeed. Sure, we focused on only three poses. That meant, that in the experienced hands of this unbelievably intense teacher, we had nothing but time to hold and fine-tune each pose. I broke a sweat almost instantly.

See, it doesn’t really matter what everyone else in class is doing. If you’re working at the edge of your pose, at the farthest limit for your muscles, you’re working hard. C. demands that of each student.

It was a completely new experience of Trikonasana (Triangle), Tadasana (Mountain), and Virabhadrasana (Warrior II). By using wall-mounted ropes Iyengar-style, we were able to focus in on the inner thigh muscles. C. taught us the three types of muscle contraction – concentric, eccentric, and isometric. With the ropes holding a bit of weight and providing resistance, it freed up the thighs to experience eccentric contraction. We lengthened and elongated from the ball of the heel up through the inner thighs.

With proper inner thigh rotation, beautiful space opened across the low back, the pelvis aligned, and the tailbone scooped under.

C. was so patient with my many questions. I truly believe that she is one of the most informed teachers around. For sure, she knows her anatomy inside and out! (Ha Ha).

So when she showed me how to open across the chest by drawing my shoulder blades down and feeling my collarbones lift up and over my highest ribs, I paid attention.

I think I’ll go back for more “relaxation” next week.


Kimberlee said...

Hi! - thanks for stopping by my blog (brown button) - I agree, time travellers wife was fabulous - i just made my book club read it - they love it too!. Thank you for reminding how good yoga is - must get myself back into a class! x

Begin - writing, yoga, and more said...

Hi Kimberlee

I'm glad you prompted your book club to enjoy it.

You know I remember reading a lesser known, quirky book that dealt with love and shifting time. Let's see, here it is - it's Falling Out of Time by O.R. Melling, published by Viking in 1989.

The blurb reads, "Richly realized and compelling, Falling Out of Time weaves an intricate web of metafiction and magic." I remember liking it very much. Perhaps you would as well.