Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday? Must be a Yoga Night!

I look forward to Friday, not because it is the end of the week, because it is Yoga night.  I look forward to each day because they all hold some special activity and the opportunity to spend time with my Hubb, the dogs, read an eMail from my mom, basically breathing.  I've never quite gotten the whole 'count down' mentality.  It seems like some people are wishing time away waiting for an event; birthday, graduation, wedding day, the weekend, or who knows.  Maybe they aren't.  I am in count down to Marine Corps Marathon, I'm using the time to prepare for the event and marking how much longer I have to prepare versus what I need to do to prepare and making a plan to use the time wisely.

Perhaps I need to change MY attitude towards count downs?  Perhaps they aren't all about wishing time away. Perhaps they are about being fully prepared for what ever is being anticipated?  Anticipation being the key word, not waiting for.  Hmmm....  thank you for giving me the time to noodle through that concept.

So Yoga, I love it.  My very first Yoga instructor was Betsy.  She was part of the Ann Arbor Public Schools Yoga program, I think.  I did a quick google search and that didn't help me place what organization she was associated with. She and her husband are/were, however, the owners of the drive through liquor store on Williams Street.  (Of course she'd remember THAT I can hear some of you saying) My mom participated in this program and that is how I got involved with this particular organization.  Betsy taught Iyengar yoga, 90 minute class on Thursday nights. I practiced under her for 5 years or so.  It was wonderful.  When we moved out East I spent a long time trying Yoga classes and just never finding the right fit.  They say that you can never replace your first Yoga teacher, true, Betsy is irreplaceable.  I have found a new Betsy in Heidi at the Westerly Community Yoga Center.  Heidi has the same qualities, she is a happy, generous soul who understands and has over come challenges in life.  This comes through in her teaching and her meditations and her being her.  After an extended break from a consistent Yoga practice I am happy and centered having once again found a Yoga instructor I click with.

Heidi started class asking us what we were looking for.  I volunteered "A medium practice", yeah sometimes it is nice to sit on the fence, right?  Debbie volunteered "Hip work".  We all agreed Medium Hip work.  Heidi was a bit bouncy at the beginning of class and we asked if perhaps she had been sipping cappuccino again?  Well, no she hadn't but she certainly felt like she had been.  After 30 minutes she said, "I think we are at a little more than medium, what do you guys think?"  We agreed and said it actually seemed like the exact right pace.  So medium had turned in to medium high and we were satisfied.

During Downward Facing Dog (I'm going to use the common terms, I am hopeless when it comes to the Sanskrit) a rest pose, I remember back 20 years ago thinking "Are you kidding me?  This isn't restful at all.  Will it ever be restful?" Now, I am happy to say it is a rest pose.


Yeah I know, hard to believe right, THAT is restful.  It is, I am totally serious!  My goal is to one day get my heels on the mat. I have wicked tight hamstrings, they are getting looser and looser.  As they get looser I am noticing other changes, my knees hurt less, my feet hurt less.  Isn't the human body just an amazing machine?

Tonight I once again got up in Crow Pose (arms straight would be Crane, the NEXT step).  This has been a tough one for me.  I am not sure why.  Well, yes I am sure why, it is mental.  Amazing how the mind has such control and you just have to well 'free your mind and the rest will follow' as the song lyrics go.
And yes we did get our Hip Opening work in!  I'm feeling mighty flexible!! 

Whilst this is not the Friday nights of my misspent youth, I am quite happy in my advancing age to have Yoga be the highlight of a Friday night.  OOOOOooooooommmmmmmmmmm

Namaste
Beth the soon to be Jack swillin' Yogi.

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