So the yogi wannabe, also known as 'Five-foot-two-of-fury-ninja-princess-mighty-triathlete' was at it again this week. I think it's safe to say I'm a yoga convert. No, I'm not giving up my passion, triathlon, but I am truly enjoying the classes. It's been a nice change from my usual life that consists of swim, bike, run, and repeat. However, I must confess, I have been noticing something of late...
The yoga centre I attend offers two classes at lunchtime. One at high noon, the other a mere ten minutes later. Both are fifty minutes in length. Every morning I ponder the schedule to see what is being offered and what my body might like to attempt. I think it's safe to say that in the last eight classes I have attended all the offered classes.
The classes all come with differing titles. Some have the word 'flow', some 'strength' or 'soul' and even 'core'. There is no accompanying description of the course, so I have been winging it and if I felt I wanted a strength workout I'd hit the class with the word strength in the title. Same if my soul needed a little lift.
Okay, now here's the secret I've noticed...
It's yoga. There are a certain number of poses one can do in your Regular Joe/Jane class. So we do pretty much the same poses in every class no matter what it's called! Shifty, shifty I say.
Now don't get me wrong, this isn't a complaint! Far from it. It's comforting to know I can work on these poses in all the classes as some of them are most definitely challenging. Also, the instructor, depending on the class will have us hold a pose longer or offer a more challenging move to add on. So perhaps that's how they justify the titles? I know not.
The core class was the funniest for me. It felt like more of the soul class in that it was full of wonderfully slow movement and poses. In some of the poses I could feel my core engage somewhat, but it wasn't until the last five minutes that she let the core flow, so to speak.
We were laying on our backs with our feet raised about 30 degrees off the ground while criss-crossing our feet, then we'd raise it another 30 degrees, repeat, then lower 30 degrees and finally go to the ground.
It was during the second set where I decided maybe it wasn't a good idea that I had done 300 crunches on Saturday and 300 on Sunday. Ooof! Now I was feeling the core!
Today was a great class as well, and indeed challenging. The yogi had us holding our poses for counts of 7 - 10 breaths. (If you've never experienced yoga, the breaths are not your typical short shallow ones, but rather the loooong deep ones.) So it wasn't always the easiest thing when the only body part touching the ground is one foot and the rest of your limbs are splayed hither and tither. The ninja princess was certainly being tested today! As was her ability to grasp the mat with her toes while her body went into a bit of a wobble. Good think I have superhuman dexterity in my toes!
During one pose, I realized my muscles were still dealing with my little leg workout on Saturday. Picture this if you shall... Our budding yogi, yours truly, is bent in half like an upside down 'V', also known as downward dog. She takes a deep Darth Vader inhalation. She shifts her left foot so it is more towards the centre of the mat. As she exhales, she ever so gracefully lifts her right quadzilla leg so her foot is pointing to the back of the room.
Still breathing, she now bends her right knee of leg still aloft, and then twists her core so her bent right airborne leg is now draped over the left leg that is stabilizing this magnificant pose. Full of peace and letting her heart shine she proceeds to hold for the count of seven breaths...
One breath. Two breath. Three breath. ASS CRAAAAMP!!! Nuts! Four breath. Aiyeeeee!!! Glutius Maxi-Maximus contracting! Do not lose the pose! Do not panic! Five breath. Shite, Shite. THINK INNER PEACE DAMMIT!!! Six breath. Grimacing now. Seven breath. Slowly release so no one knows the pain you are in!
Holy hannah what the hell was that?! Stupid three sets of squats, lunges and step ups is what that was! For pete's sake. Oh, great, the other side is next. Okay. Think loose. Think happy place. Feel the inner energy in the body flowing. All is peaceful. Heart is still shining. Breathe in. Strike the pose. Ready - auuum and....
ASS CRAMP!! Bugger! Bugger! Bugger! Okay, you got through this before - You Can Do It. Do not grimace, it's bad for the Qi. Think Darth Vader. AAAAAAGGGGGHHHH. Breathe, breathe!
I'm pretty sure had anyone the chance to notice my tushy they would have seen a rather large ball of cramped muscle sticking out of my arse at that moment. Wait, maybe I should check and see if it's still balled up.....nope. It's a bit tender though.
As challenging, and as I learned today, somewhat painful, some of the poses are I just know this is going to help me become a mightier triathlete. If not by becoming more flexible, then at least I will increase my pain tolerance! Always a handy thing to have.
Oh, and just because I, apparantly, am a glutten for punishment, I went to the gym after work. One guess as to what I did. Yup. Squats. Lunges. Step Ups. True, I am a nutbar. With any luck though, I'll be a bendy, flexible, strong nutbar by the end of summer!
Peace out my ever wonderful friends.