I can’t believe it has been a year since I went to a yoga class. With all the running and strength training classes, sitting still to practice on my breathing and maintaining flexibility was hard to fit into my schedule. My previous experience at a Vinyasa Yoga class seemed miles away, and I was pretty sure I needed to work on my mobility again.
However, since I am currently off-season for running I finally had the chance to venture (albeit briefly) into yoga again. This time, I tried Ashtanga Yoga at Upward Yoga studio, lead by Ninie.
ASHTANGA BASICS (75 mins) is a workshop-type class comprising Ashtanga sun salutations, Ashtanga Standing Poses, 10 to 15 poses from Ashtanga Primary Series, backbends and Ashtanga Closing Sequence. Tips to ‘jump back’, ‘jump through’ and ‘half / full vinyasa’ will be offered to help link your poses together and to retain your body’s warmth throughout the practice.
(taken from UpwardYoga.com)
So at 9am, my running crew and I find ourselves sitting very still with our eyes closed, cross-legged on the floor. We allowed ourselves to give gratitude for the day ahead and realign our minds. Using the power of visualization can be a very powerful tool.
Ninie’s yoga studio at Upward Yoga is all about the experience – the warm earthy walls, natural light, essential oil for the senses, and meditative songs and drum beats for the mind.
Just like any other sports, there must be a warm up, the actual work out, and a closing. We started to warm up by doing sun salutations and standing poses. These were basic movements, like Downward Dog and Warrior Pose. However, they were not easy. Not used to inverting my head often I felt disoriented and lost my balance several times! I also learnt to use the sound of the drum beats in the background through the studio’s speaker to help my breathing.
Then came the primary sequences, where the actual fun begins. Depending on your flexibility and experience, Ninie showed us more challenging poses. Ninie was very encouraging. Again by using the power of visualization, she wants everyone to believe that they can do those poses even if it was not perfect or accurate.
Until I have the ability to contort myself into a or in words of a friend, turn into a ‘human pretzel’ I have to keep on working on my basics first. Improving flexibility is always an advantage for not just for runners, but other sports as well.
For more info, head to their website: http://upwardyoga.com/
Until next week,
The Weekend Runner