Sunday, January 13, 2013

Power Yoga

I just returned today from a fabulous yoga class: Power Yoga at my local YMCA. The beautifully fit instructor, Liz, had us set up poolside to do our yoga practice. To be honest, I grumbled inside when I heard that we were going to be on the pool deck. I've never been one to introduce extra heat to my yoga practice, and I actually felt like fate was working against me (or working to my benefit, as I found out later).

We started with a quiet, grounding mountain pose, then very slowly started building heat in our bodies by doing a number of sun salutations. My muscles perked up and took notice! She then took us through a more fluid, vinyasa style yoga practice. About a third of the way through the class, I was sweating--sweating even more than when I attend my Zumba class! Maybe these hot yoga teachers are on to something! (I'm still reserving judgment, however!) I was amazed at her gentle, but focused approach. She gave quiet encouragement, and beautifully re-positioned students to get the most out of the pose.

Toward the end of class, she said something when we were in a reclining twist that just hit me right between the eyes! "We are as young as our movable spines. Take care of your backs." And yes, isn't that the crux of all yoga practices? Being mindful of our bodies (especially our spines and backs) so that we can keep them malleable in order to reduce injury.

I was amazed at how good I felt after the rejuvenating practice, especially since this weekend my body decided to have another flare up. No fun, and Jeff even questioned my decision to go to yoga. But honestly, I believe the moving and strengthening got to the center of my muscles and just made them respond lovingly. I will definitely be adding this class to my exercise repertoire! Namaste.

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