Sunday, September 13, 2009

Austin's Day of Yoga

I love yoga and take classes regularly, but they are basic, gym-type classes, which tend to leave out some of the true nature of the discipline. I've always wanted to explore all that yoga is and can be, and this past week I had that opportunity with Austin's annual Free Day of Yoga.

My very optimistic self planned out - and succeeded - at taking five different yoga classes for a total of seven hours of class, all in one day!
I was definitely exhausted, but I loved the experiential learning!

I started with a Thai partner yoga and massage class that I took with a friend. We giggled a lot, not being used to being so physical with one another, but we also got a lot out of it. (It wasn't "massage" like we think of it. It's more like using your partner's body to help you stretch.) Next, was a Relaxation class, which really was straight guided meditation. I meditate most every day, but it's nice to do guided meditations every once in a while. After that, I tried Qigong, which is an energy (chi) based discipline that allows the body to heal itself by holding and moving through specific postures. Kundalini yoga was next, which was fairly basic, except they purposely caused us pain in order to release our endorphins. (For real!) The difference with this class was they had a big gong, and during the relaxation, they played it. It was a very nice sound; I would have liked it throughout the whole class. Finally, I went to the hardest class - Bikram yoga. It was an hour and a half class in a heated, high-humidity room. Never have I sweated so much! I could barely hold postures I was so slippery! They say the practice is designed to "wring out" your organs to clean your body. I had a massive headache the next day from releasing all the toxins into my body, but they say it's really good for you! I think I might like to try it one more time before I decide ...

Anyway, I succeeded at trying all these different kinds of yoga in one day. I paced myself, drank lots of water, and looked at it as another adventure!

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