Sunday, February 27, 2011

Inspiration from Yoga

   Today I went back for my second class at New Day yoga, this time the gentle hot yoga class taught by Amanda. I have to say, I really dig this studio! I liked Amanda from the minute I walked in the door: she greeted me at the front desk and I was happy to find out she was the teacher. And not only that, Chandra Blackwell was in the lobby when I walked in, so it was great to see a familiar face in the class. This was her first time at the studio. Groupon brought us together.
   This was only my second attempt at hot yoga. The first was in Albuquerque in July, where it was 110 degrees outside and 100 inside, and it was very, VERY challenging. So hot and humid that it was difficult to maintain an even breath, and the carpeted room was thick with the smell of mildew and sweat, old and new. In contrast, this studio was warm, but probably not much over 90 degrees, and the wood floors meant that it smelled much more pleasant. It was a much easier introduction to hot yoga, and one I'd go back for, to build up my stamina before attempting the hardcore version. 
   Apparently the idea is that the heat increases your flexibility, allowing you to get into the poses more deeply, and at the same time it makes you sweat profusely so that toxins leave your body. In ABQ I was practically afraid of consciousness leaving my body, and interrupting the class with a giant THUD as I hit the deck from downward dog.
   Just as the teacher before, Amanda shared some inspirational thoughts and words of wisdom throughout the class. She kept us focused on breathing in concert with the poses, suggesting that we breathe very deeply in order to, "Breathe in positive energy, and breathe out negative energy." She reminded us to let energy flow freely through ourselves without resistance.
   She ended Savasana with a quote: "The difference between ordinary & extraordinary is that little bit extra. Challenge yourself to be extraordinary." Then she brought us into seated position, and we put our hands in prayer, resting on the third eye, then the mouth, then the heart, as she said, "Reminder to keep your mind open, your words kind, and be true to yourself. The divine spirit within me is connected to the divine spirit within you. Namaste." Like every teacher I've ever had, she had unique things in her practice that I loved.
   I checked into Foursquare after class and found that I had earned this badge, which made me laugh. Guilty pleasure lunch, anyone?
   P.S. Check this out. Weird synchronicity: A couple of hours after I got home, I was working on some plush with the TV on and heard this commercial for the U.S. Virgin Islands, "Let go of ordinary and see what extraordinary feels like. Be who you are, and who you could be." Sound familiar?