Seeing Forrest from the Trees

For the first two weeks of October, I took a little break from Forrest. It was largely imposed by a confluence of circumstances. A huge convention for a well known tech company (eh, hem, ORACLE) created a serious traffic conundrum outside of my building, while work and travel conspired against my usual schedule. Late commitments and early meetings, and a week in Canada. But, I have to admit, some of the break was self-imposed. I wanted to see if I would miss it. The past 6 months for me have been laser-focused on Forrest. The practice has carried me through this large period of transition and has not failed me. I am stronger and more confident in my practice, particularly my home practice.

But Forrest is intense, and I needed a break from that. I wanted to be the anonymous yogini in the room that didn't know a soul, and didn't know the teacher. I just wanted to try that on for a bit to see how it felt. I also wanted to be open to what another style could teach me.

So I hopped around a bit, and tried a little of this and that. (Not hard to do in San Francisco :o)

The highlights:

Jivamukti: Holy hard core. Not something I want to do every day - but intriguing and physical and deep. Love the way the teachers call the sun salutations - and the fun variations.

Yoga Church: Les Leventhal's Sunday morning class at Yoga Tree Castro. Yes, please, and thank you. And what an awesome idea to have the class be 105 minutes. It's like a master class for the price of a regular one. Plus, I haven't had my butt kicked like that in a while.

Yoga Tree Castro in general: I found myself at the Castro location more - and realized that a. it is super convenient via the muni, b. lots of great variety and c. lots of space.

Music:  I realized that I missed music in class (Forrest = no music for the most part). I went to several classes that had more upbeat music, and also incorporated music into my personal practice at home and in my hotel room. It energized me in a different way: a nice, welcome addition these past weeks. I don't need it for every class, but it was fun to pay attention to how it motivated me in a different way.

I have learned that I should change it up more. There is much to be gained from other styles and instructors. It is good for your body to move in different ways, and for your mind to be open as well.

But there is a lot to be said for knowing what makes your practice work. And for loving that for what it is.

When I hopped on my mat for my first Forrest class after the hiatus, I was glad that I had made the journey out...

but I was so happy to be home.