It is an interesting thing to fall in love with something like yoga at age 29. Despite being inspired by the ancient yogis, I am unlikely to decide that I want to go and wander in order to find more of myself. Yoga is a huge passion for me - but I want (and in many senses, need) to fit it within the confines of where my life is right now. The benefits are so very real to me in many other facets of my life, including both at home and at work - that finding ways to fit yoga in - are becoming more of a habit, which makes it easier.
|Photo courtesy of Derik Newton|
This week is Urban Yoga Retreat at the Sports Club LA/Boston. Urban Yoga Retreat is a chance to have the feeling of a yoga retreat while keeping your day job - no vacation days required to attend. It is a lot of classes in a week - one in the morning and one at night each day during the week, than 2 longer classes on the weekend. I also wanted to keep two specific classes this week at BBY, so that brings me up to 14ish classes this week. By any normal standard - that is a lot of yoga. For me, this kind of time commitment means suspending any cardio, strength, or other extra fitness activity. It's a pure yoga week. It also means being smart about getting my work done in 40 hours this week (not the norm :o).
It's Tuesday, I am 5 classes in, and I'm sore and tired, but still really glad for the experience. I'm realizing that this is also involving a lot of me "saving" some energy in practice so that I can make it through the week! It's mentally challenging just to know that you've committed to that much yoga. I underestimated how intense it would be to take class from instructors that I am not as familiar with. They have different sequences, different "go to" asanas, and different styles. It has already been a great experience - and a reminder that I need to constantly be growing into things in my practice. I guess I have been missing a lot of humble warrior in my classes recently :) It's BACK!!!
Tonight's class was a Yin class taught by Josh Summers. Yin + Abbie = a challenge. Another type of yoga that requires serious mental discipline beyond the physical. The class was phenomenal though - he did a great job of working in some of the basic principles of yoga philosophy and talking about why yin is a good complement to a regular yoga practices. I love it when teachers take the time - when it's appropriate - to discuss the WHYs - it brings it so much deeper for me.
Isn't the picture at the top of this post beautiful? It's a good focus point for me this week. I am having the picture framed for my to remind me that the principles lived on the mat should be taken outside of yoga.
And lastly, just a quote of the moment from Elizabeth Edwards, who died today. She summed up what it means to live in one of her last notes:
"The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And, yes, there are certainly times when we aren't able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It’s called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious."
- Elizabeth Edwards