Today, from 9:30a to 6PM I learned about and practiced different aspects of yoga. All at one of my favorite studios in NYC, Yoga Vida. The space itself is so welcoming, how could I go wrong.
We started with a class on anatomy. I am not a doctor and can’t even begin to pretend that I could possibly recite the things we were taught. What I can tell you is that it was amazing to see just how connected every part of our bodies are, one to the next. How when we breathe and expand and contact our diaphragm we are touching our hearts, lungs, internal organs. Seeing how simultaneously fragile and strong our bodies are was pretty cool. Your heart totally isn’t where you think it is. Look it up.
From there we moved on to two posture clinics. The first went through to sun salutation series. For the second we did some forward and back bends and two inversions. With senior teachers guiding us through each, we were able to see how small changes can make a big difference. Negative if you are doing it incorrectly – running the risk not only of injury but of having your body learn to do something poorly and then having to spend the time relearning that thing. And positively when adjusted to the proper alignment – using muscles instead of sinking in to joints.
We then spent time on the history on yoga. Oddly, this was the part I liked the least. It was very male-centric. This man said this and that man said the other. I appreciate that there is a history and theory behind the poses, but I also feel that yoga is a very personal practice. And I am coming to this for my own reasons and am confident in my path. For the longest time, women weren’t allowed to practice. It’s hard for me to listen to their teaching without knowing thinking about the misogyny of it all. But I was respectful and listened.
For the last portion of the day we were guided through different breathing methods. We used those breathing styles in meditations. It was a lovely way to end a beautiful day.
As we were in the final meditation and brought our hands together at heart center, it occurred to me that I haven’t ever spent an entire day just on myself. While I thank Yoga Vida for bringing together five different people to teach us, more than anything I thank them for giving me the opportunity to spend a full day on something I love just for me. Not in service of teacher training or anything else. Just me, doing something I love, for eight hours.