101in1001#10 do yoga once per week for a month

July 2, 2010

the studio from the other angleI completed this goal as defined back in April when I was taking a twice a week yoga class at De Anza college. Due to missing the first week of school, I felt way behind and overwhelmed and I dropped my classes. I only made it for a month. I was hoping a month would be all I needed to really re-establish my practice, but it seems that wasn’t so. I’m still struggling to do yoga once a week.

A while back, I did yoga every week at a very nice Iyengar studio for two years. At first I would qualify my yoga practice by saying I “only” did it once a week, but after a year, I realized my yoga practice was more robust than most people did, so I just said “I do yoga.” Then I was in a car accident, I changed jobs, life got complicated, and it’s been 5 or more years since I’ve practiced regularly. I’ve retained a lot of what I learned: I’m still pretty balanced, I’m very “body aware” and can isolate portions of my body and observe and influence my body. I’m just not as flexible and strong as I could be.

One thing that bothers me about trying to find a new studio (the old one is inconveniently located) is that I learned a specific style of yoga, which had a lot of attention put on detail, and a lot of personal attention. It bothers me to go to a yoga “flow” studio and “just go through the motions.” I know that is what makes vinyasana (flow) yoga what it is, I just want the feedback that my form is correct. This is unnecessarily anal-retentive of me, because each style of yoga does many poses differently, and all forms of yoga have great benefits. Yoga Journal magazine had a great article that compared one pose done by each of the major types of yoga and showed how they were subtly different, demonstrating that there is really no “one, right way” to do yoga. (It might have been this article: Ways of the Warrior) Add individual physical limitations, which Iyengar really caters to, and I get totally overwhelmed with variations. So why am I so picky?

I guess in one sense I’m just frustrated by “starting over.” I also don’t want to lead myself down a path to incorrect postures. In reality, if you have a mirror, patience, and a good base of instruction (which I know I have because when I do try out classes, the instructors tell me my form is correct, and I know the correct variations for my limitations), you can do yoga by yourself better than you can in a group class where you might be influenced by the very flexible or strong person in front of you to try to do things your body isn’t ready for. Especially if the class is too big for the instructor to observe and encourage everyone.

So why am I having so much trouble taking care of myself? I’m going to revisit the Yoga subject next month. Maybe I’ll be able to share some progress.

Pictured above is my “studio.” I call it a studio because it combines my yoga space and my sewing space (view the room from another angle). There’s a laptop (I got for free because it has battery/power issues) on the shelf thing in the corner so I can watch my yoga DVDs when I’m too lazy to lead myself. I actually do my cutting on a table set up in the guest room so I can keep the studio as open and uncluttered as possible.

By levanah