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Yoga Therapy

After another day of worrying about my injury and whether it will heal in time for me to run MCM, I was feeling defeated. I left work thinking that all I really felt like doing was going home and lying down for the whole night. And eating. Lying down and eating. My other option, since I'm still not ready to go back to CrossBoot, was to go to a yoga class. But even that seemed like work, and I just felt like giving up. I thought about how I'd feel if I chose my first option, and I knew that would potentially make me feel even worse than I already did. So, while stopped at a traffic light (of course), I used my phone to register for the yoga class at my studio, Bella Prana (there's now an app for that!). I knew that if I registered, I wouldn't back out.

So I arrived home in time to change and get to class a bit early. I hadn't taken a class from this particular instructor, Greg Hass, so I wasn't sure what to expect. The class was a Flow Level 2 class, which was just right for what I wanted--I needed more challenge than a Level 1, but I didn't feel energized enough for a Power class. I lay on my mat while waiting for the other students to arrive and just closed my eyes and tried to let go. I liked being alone in that room for a few minutes, with no distractions around me. It was so peaceful.

When class began, I was delighted that we were starting lying down on our backs. I was already in position. Greg talked us through the proper alignment of just lying supine, which surprisingly required a lot of instruction. The practice kept this pace for a while, moving slowing from one seemingly simple pose to the next, but squeezing out the full potential of every posture. It required a lot of focus, which was exactly what I needed--something else to focus on. Greg made helpful adjustments on each student for practically every pose. I appreciate these adjustments, as they help me get into a fuller expression of the pose and also give me something to work toward.

At first I thought the class was going to be slow and mellow. But soon I realized it was rather powerful after all. But I enjoyed the slower pace; especially when compared to the class I took at the USF rec center yesterday. The instructor moved through poses quicker than I could breathe, and she didn't really explain the postures or how they should be achieved. Lucky for me, I was familiar with the poses, but I still like to be talked through them. It's part of the process of teaching yoga--or at least it should be. It helps students focus on their practice. After 12 or so years of practicing yoga, I have some expectations, and this one is pretty basic.

But back to tonight's class. At the peak of class, when we were doing the most challenging work, I felt thoroughly exhausted, but in a good way, like I'd exhausted all of my effort in that class. I was dripping sweat, my legs were shaking just to hold the remaining poses, and I had to dig deep down to make it to savasana, the final resting pose.

After coming home, showering, and hanging up my sweat-soaked yoga clothes to dry, I realized that I got just as much out of this 90-minute class than I would have at CrossBoot. And on top of that, I had regained some confidence in myself, after having done something I was actually good at.

I'll always return to the yoga mat when I'm in need of healing, but hopefully I'll remember to do it even when I'm not.


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