Part of the reason why I was so eager to give this challenge a shot was knowing that I could try different kinds of yoga. I will admit that I am pretty much the lamest half-yogi ever - I stick with basics or beginners classes because I feel that my breathing needs serious work and I know very few poses. Because of this, the classes are never challenging necessarily, and I never break a sweat. Ever.
Since I had been putting off starting this darn challenge for so long, a 10 am vinyasa and meditation class on Sunday morning was the first class I could take. C joined me, wanting to check out the studio, and we were greeted with a wonderfully warm welcome. It also doesn't hurt that it is bright and airy, has changing rooms, and a shower. Plus plus plus!
We were in this class with 2 others, and the instructor, Rebecca, spent the beginning discussing how she focuses on the Tibetan teachings (and how thrilled she is for the Dalai Lama to visit LA next summer!) and drew a super simple diagram that explained what yoga practice is supposed to do. She was also very grounded and not precious at all, which was fantastic.
She began to lead us through a few different flows, and I immediately started sweating. Over the course of the next hour and a half, I could not believe how sweaty I was. At one point, she brought over a strap to my mat and laid it where my hands would go, letting me know that her hands get super sweaty during yoga and this helps keep them stable. She also assisted me through half moon (I couldn't get my legs straight, so she helped guide and stabilize me) AND my first shoulder stand. I know that when practicing yoga you should check your ego at the door, but I couldn't help but beam (at least, internally) when she congratulated me on being able to extend my feet up during my shoulder stand.
Afterwards, we headed home, both eagerly anticipating an afternoon nap, and I got hit with this crazy, gut-wrenching emotional feeling. I couldn't shake it. I tried taking a shower, taking deep breaths, whatever, but it was just awful. It was tear inducing. C had to calm me down and remind me that the flows we were doing were geared towards opening chakras, and sometimes, when you bottle up certain emotions, they come raging back in this fashion. I remembered the instruction explaining how each of our flows was focusing on certain chakras, but I didn't think I'd have this kind of reaction!
I've always been a little skeptical of anyone who says they have some sort of crazy release like this post-yoga, but I realize that's because my yoga practice has been so minute and conservative. Clearly I needed this release, and felt much, MUCH better after my nap and a glass of wine with some good friends, and I'm definitely going to be going back to this class this coming weekend, with hopefully a more positive reaction to the chakra opening. Maybe this time I'll leave class skipping with joy...?
For a very easy and brief explanation on chakras, look here.