Never one to shy away from an opportunity to do something I am really bad at, I took another yoga class yesterday. This class was different from the one I took last week. Last week’s class was a beginner/intermediate Vinyasa class. Lots of movement and lots of strength work. This class was called “Gentle” and stated that it focused on stretching and strengthening, and was even appropriate for people with injuries. I have no injuries, but I’m tight as a drum, terrible at yoga poses and could use plenty of stretching, so I thought I’d give it a whirl.
I loved it! I’m still bad at yoga, but I loved this class! It had a whole different feel from the one last week – slower, more soothing. The teacher had this amazing yoga-voice that, I swear, helped to relax me physically even when I couldn’t stay in the moment mentally. The stretching was just what I needed and I will definitely be joining this class on a regular basis. It is really nice to be able to walk up stairs without feeling like I have to stop and stretch every step.
I loved the music she played during the class, which helped. The playlist had a few Gregorian-chant type songs. Call me a freak (for many reasons), but I love Gregorian chant. I’m a cradle Catholic and alumna of a Jesuit university, so Gregorian chant and I go back many, many moons. It speaks to me in a way that new age music simply does not. The history it carries, the “weight” of the music, the deep tones – I love it all. I swear, my breathing slowed automatically with the first few bars without me even having to think about it.
The class also had a great communal feel – clearly a solid group of people attend this class every week. Even as a Newbie, I absorbed the positive feelings and energy that the regulars shared with each other and the instructor. I am an introvert, and will probably never be part of the chatty circle even if I attend every week, but it nice to be surrounded by it as the class began and concluded. It set a very happy, positive tone for the session. Clearly, people look forward to this class each week, and there is a lot to be said for simply being in a place surrounded by people who are very happy to be there.
The class ended with a nice long, Shivasana. No, I didn’t relax totally. No, my mind didn’t really clear. (She’s a yoga instructor, not a magician.) But it was worth it just to have 10-15 minutes to lie down, relax, and focus on how my body felt. Adjust position when necessary. Adjust some more. Close eyes and think all of my usual crazy thoughts but at least be lying down while doing it, instead of running around doing 50 things at once. When my kids were preschoolers and would fight naptime, I would always tell them , “I wish someone would tell me to go lie down for a while!” Well, I found someone who will do exactly that. And I’ll be back.