Yesterday was the long awaited LUNGevity Breathe Deep Yogathon that I have been so excited about for weeks. After having been very pre-occupied lately, I was feeling very neglectful of my yoga practice and my blog. I was hoping that this would be a kind of “reset button” for me, and it turned out to be exactly that and so much more. This was such an amazing experience and I hope that LUNGevity brings it back next year.
I started my Saturday bright and early and had a bowl of my favorite Breakfast Cookie Dough Cereal–without the toppings this time; yoga on a full stomach = no good.
Not my best crow, but it’s the one that was captured on film, so I can live with it 😉 The Yogathon had a live DJ group who picked great music to go with whatever we were doing (amazing, seamless transitions–the teachers even said they couldn’t have planned the music better themselves) and at one point had a live band! Complete with a harmonium and everything!
I wish I could tell you for sure what other instruments were involved, but I don’t want to be wrong… That’s a true Tibetan gong you see in the center there. It was really a unique experience .. but I’ll get to that later.
The day started at 8:00 with an Anusara class. This class was a great warm up–easy, classic poses (think forward bends, triangle and side angles) that utilized props. I’m not a huge fan of props unless they help you to achieve a pose you can’t get naturally. We also did a shoulder stand with a chair, which was so bizzarre-feeling for me. It also featured a lot of binding of the legs that I didn’t think was always necessary–but oh well, that’s the nature of the class. It really was a good start to a long day, but I don’t think I’ll be doing Anusara very much in the future.
The next class was at 9:30 and was my favorite of the day, mainly because of the teacher. Adam taught a class that wasn’t exactly defined, but it was a bit of Ashtanaga and Power Vinyasa. He has a really amazing way of explaining exactly how the poses should be executed and what you should be feeling while you’re in them. He also stressed the importance of being active in each pose–he always had you do one action on an inhale and another on the exhales, such as lengthening and then turning out for certain poses. He also was very visual with his word choice and made sure that you never felt discouraged in a pose. He was one of those teachers who was so articulate you didn’t really have to watch him most of the time. It was a really great class and I may just have to make a trip to the studio he teaches at one day!
The next class was at 11:00. It was a Yin yoga class, my anxious mind’s nemesis! I have mixed feelings about the class: On the one hand, it was very well placed in the course of the day–it was nice to slow down and relax after two classes straight of active yoga. This class was also the one that brought in the live Kirtan band. But, as I’ve mentioned before, Yin yoga focuses on holding poses for about 5 minutes each. 5 whole minutes! The teacher did acknowledge that it was OK for your mind to wander, which made me feel less like a big dope during the class 🙂 But I also felt she was too loosey-goosey with the class. She’d say, “Get into this pose. You can lean like this if you want, or like this, or like this in it, do whatever you want, really.” My feeling is that if I’m taking a class from you, I want to know exactly what I should be doing. I also felt like a lot of the suggestions for how you’re “in it” might not be ideal for everyone–I really just wanted her to be decisive and make sure we had correct form, is all.
After that class, I was so relaxed, I wanted to go home and take a nap! My mom and I decided to ditch the fourth class and get some lunch instead. Before we left, though, we each got a chair massage and a Reiki massage. We left feeling renewed and reenergized–but still very hungry! We left our sanctuary in search of some sustenance…
(Stay tuned for Part Two!)