Trying a Different Class

Recently, my Yoga Buddy, Swamp Girl, decided to try out a different yoga studio. This was still hot yoga, but not Bikram. Actually, the place offers both hot and room temperature yoga, but Swamp Girl only takes the hot yoga classes.

swampfireSwamp Girl’s departure was due to the fact that she wanted to try something new, but she also didn’t want to give up the heat. She really likes it hot! She bought herself some Bikram classes, and once in awhile she still attends, but her primary home is at this other studio now.

This other place offers a variety of classes. When I looked at the schedule it was pretty overwhelming to me. If you take a class on Monday at 10:00 for example, you may not be able to take that same type of class until the next Monday rolls around. Some classes are offered more than once during the week, but to me it looked tricky to try to attend the same type of class more than once. But she was liking it.

I promised Swamp Girl that I would try out a class with her when my schedule allowed for it, and the other day it did. First, I had to take a morning Bikram class (because of my 100-Day challenge). Then I joined Swamp Girl that evening for a Hot Detox Vinyasa class. I had picked this over a class the next evening called Gentle Hot, but Swamp Girl told me Gentle Hot was actually the more difficult of the two classes. Anyways, I got down there, got myself signed up and set up, and was all ready to check it out.

Taking the Class

Before class started, I asked Swamp Girl what the rules were. When could I drink my water? She said there were no rules. If I wanted to drink my water, I should just drink my water. Whenever, Wherever. Ok. Got it.

The teacher entered the room and greeted everyone. Like a well trained Bikram-Yogi, I popped off my mat into standing position. Everyone else remained seated. I waited a moment and took this in and then sat my butt back down. In this class, we started with a seated breathing exercise and then moved into the postures.

The postures of course were varied. Some were new to me and some I hadn’t done in years. There was a lot of down-dog. I remember doing some planks and pigeon and really a variety of stuff I can’t even remember. We worked our core a lot. At some point I realized I would be sore the next day.

What I Learned

Taking a different yoga class was a great experience. It was just plain fun. But I also realized that having practiced mindfulnessyoga for four years now had left me with some interesting skills. I don’t think these skills are exclusive to Bikram yoga but are ones that can be developed through any mindful yoga practice:

  • I’m OK with discomfort. There were plenty of times during the class where I was confused and wasn’t sure what to do with myself. I was ok with that. I was patient with myself in figuring things out. There were moments when I was pushed out of my comfort zone, and again, I was ok with that.

 

  • I’m good with working within my limits. I had zero idea what we would be doing in that class, and sometimes I had zero idea what I was capable of doing with a given posture. I’m ok playing around within what I can do. I am pretty good at exploring where I should go with a posture – pushing on it just enough to get a sense of what I can do and where I should stop.

Since this wasn’t a Bikram class, I also discovered some other things about myself:

  • I completely forgot about water. There was simply no emphasis on it. There was no party-time. No one even said a word about it. At one point the instructor said we should pause for a sip of water and I realized I hadn’t been thinking about water at all! I took my sip and then forgot about it until class was over.

 

  • I lost track of time. The class was 60-minutes (which seemed very short to me). However, there was no clock in the room and no agenda for the class. Bikram has an agenda. We do the same postures. You come a few times and you got it memorized. There wasn’t anything to memorize here. The class is different every single time. I didn’t have anything to think about except whatever posture I was doing at the moment. I couldn’t think about an upcoming posture because I didn’t know what was coming next! It was very freeing. I was more in the moment.

Will I go again? Maybe. It was good for me. We did a lot of hip openers which I need. But I would probably benefit just as much if I started going to advance again once a week. Going to advanced helped me too. I definitely won’t be going back while I’m on my 100-Day challenge. That’s just to much.

I am curious about how I can apply the mindfulness I experienced in my Bikram classes. The problem, I realized, is that I get too caught up with whatever posture is coming down the line and I often have opinions about postures when we get to them that run through my head. I need to work on quieting my mind more during class and accepting what the posture brings. And that realization along was worth it.

Three Years Ago on MBYL

Two Years Ago on MBYL

One Year Ago on MBYL

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Being OK With Discomfort | Confessions of a Bored Academic

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