Now that I’m done with my “Mindfulness” Meditation Stress Management class I’m a bit less stressed. And since I don’t have to race to get to my Tuesday evening class anymore, I decided I would continue my relaxation therapy with some yoga…vinyasa yoga to be exact.
“I wonder what exactly vinyasa yoga is,” I thought to myself as I dressed in my Lucy yoga attire in preparation for the 75 minute class. The description said it “reduces stress, increases flexibility, enhances your overall feeling of wellness and provides quality reflection time for your busy life.” What could be better…this had my name written all over it.
According to Wikipedia, “Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a system of yoga that has its origins (allegedly) in an ancient manuscript known as the Yoga Korunta, compiled by the sage Vamana Rishi. Its current form was developed at the Mysore Palace in Mysore India and is commonly attributed to Sri K. Pattabhi Jois by way of his Satguru, Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya.” (Wow, what a mouthful…now I really, really do feel a sense of responsibility taking on this ancient form of relaxation.)
I entered the class…there were about seven or so people there…the lights were low…the teacher welcomed everyone…we sat on our yoga mats and blankets for our bottoms. Then the teacher had us close our eyes and breathe. (I can do that I said to myself…I can breathe…this is easy.) Then the teacher told us to stretch like a cat and stretch like a dog and then things got really complicated and we were told to stretch like a camel…yes, like a camel.
I was so proud of myself…I did the doggy stretch. (although the teacher did yell at me to get my hips lower and strengthen my center…I tried so hard to keep my center stiff…but it just gave way and after a few seconds I was flat on the mat…just like we were supposed to be only I got there sooner than all my other yoga mates.)
I was so proud of myself…I did the cat stretch. (this one was easy…I liked stretching like a cat …but then we had to move our legs out to the back and stretch one over the other like a pretzel that was about to break…I tried so hard to keep my balance…I really tried…oh no…oh no…here I go…and before I knew it I was flat on the mat again.)
Then it was time to do the camel. I can bend like a camel. Yes, I can do this stretch…it’s easy, I said to myself. I sat up on my knees and started to bend my body back and started to stretch my hands back until they touched my heels…I did it…yes…I did it…and then I proceeded to fall slowly to the side…but for a few seconds I was a camel.
As the class came to a close, it was time to lie down flat on my back…flat on my back on my flat yoga mat. It was time to do a bodyscan. Ooh, I was so excited. I had learned to do bodyscans at my mindfulness class…so I felt like a pro. I relaxed each part of my body from my toes to the tip of my fingers…from my eyes to the soles of my feet…I tried to melt away all the stress of the day just like the teacher said to do…almost all the stress…my knees were throbbing from all the yoga stretches I had just done…next time I’ll have to use two mats I decided…two mats are better than one.
I left the class feeling calmer than when I had arrived…the day’s stresses had melted away.
I can’t wait until Tuesday for my next vinyasa yoga class…I’m ready to get my center strengthened …maybe I’ll even get good enough so I can go to the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health .
Eating yogurt for my digestion and practicing yoga for my mind, body and spirit…what a wellness combo. Now if I could just get rid of some of the external stresses, I’d be all set.