I started practicing yoga really young - in elementary school, I watched a yoga show on PBS. I hid in my room and did it along in secret, not sure why I was doing it in secret except it seemed weird. Then I got a book which I brought to school and showed everyone "Lion." I had a lot of fun with my practice when I was younger, but I wasn't really serious until I went to Naropa. To fulfill my contemplative requirement, I had to take a yoga class, and it was the best yoga class I ever took, the one that taught me what I love in a yoga class and what I need in a yoga class. For me, yoga is about the mind and the body, and is a spiritual practice. I love the cleansed feeling my body and mind have post-yoga.
It's been a while since I practiced yoga. Before I started running ultras all the time, I practiced yoga 3-4 times a week. As I upped my mileage and my time in the gym, my yoga time decreased...and then my beloved yoga studio, Kusala, closed. I was really sad. I occasionally go to my gym, or another studio, or practice on my own, but not as much.
Last year, I hurt my wrist. Tendinitis meant any kind of pressure caused pain, so I stopped yoga. I tried, but it was just too hard, and painful. I was sad.
Wayne's back is completely messed up, and with a diagnosis in arthritis, I finally was able to convince him to go to yoga. Someone suggested hot yoga would be good, and since I've heard some negative things about bikram, we went to the hot yoga studio in Williamsburg, Yoga for the People.
The room was 105 F, but didn't feel that awful actually. You just dripped sweat the entire time, which was really lovely. The room had a sweaty stench that you quickly got used to.
I wasn't used to the style - the instructor was yelling, clapping, counting. It seemed more like a boot camp class at the gym than yoga. I felt like when I was breathing at my own pace, I was going to make her mad (I'm asthmatic and can never breathe as long as everyone else). Weird feeling to have in yoga.
Post-class, Wayne and I headed out to our bikes where the cool air (It was not really that cool, but felt AMAZING post-class) relaxed us. My ankle felt a little weird, and I remember reading that sometimes people stretch themselves too far in the heat and can hurt themselves. I drank a bunch of water, Wayne made us refreshing cocktails (St Germaine, gin, and grapefruit soda, anyone???), and we relaxed together - and for me, that was the best practice. Relaxing, doing things at your own pace, and feeling the peace.