My life as a pretzel

I miss writing about yoga. Lately, I’ve been writing about other things. Dresses, Christmas, rainbows. Great stuff, but it’s not yoga. I know you’ve been thinking it too, so here it is. My life as a pretzel (actually, it was just part of a class, but whatever.)

I went to a power class at Pure today right after work. I can’t often get away for the 4:30 class, but I think it’s my favourite time to practice. My work day is done, but I haven’t been home and crashed on the couch yet, so I’m still awake and energized (well, somewhat).

Class was with Jen. I love her classes because she always has something to distract me from the fact that I actually am tired. We started with some flowing. Lots of flowing. Like a river almost. Or maybe that’s just how sweaty I was.

On a side note, a bandaid on your foot during a hot yoga class will fall off. It’s a fact. But first, it will stick to your towel and get stuck between your toes. Just so you know.

After a blur of triangle pose and lots and lots of warrior 2 (warrior 2s? warriors 2?), the pretzeling started.

Now, when people have no clue what yoga is, the image they come up with is someone twisting themselves into various pretzel-like positions. This is not what yoga is about, although some poses involve a bind. In these cases, it is acceptable to use the term pretzel.

The first pretzel was bird of paradise. I like this one, especially if I’m standing on my right leg. If I’m standing on my left leg, it’s more like a chicken than a bird of paradise, but one side is better than none. I can get my standing leg strait (the right one), but the leg I’ve got my arms around hasn’t quite made it up.

I look like the first picture. I’m working on getting to the second one. I got the picture here.

power-yoga-bird-paradis-590km112210

The second pretzel was a new one for me. You start off in bound extended side angle, just like bird of paradise, but instead of bringing your foot up to the front of your mat, you bring it about half way and get into a bound half moon. Yeah. Crazyness. I almost kind of got it. I think. Sort of. On the right side of course. I couldn’t get my whole foot up, just my heel, but the heel is the heaviest part of the foot, so I’m almost there!

bound half moon

Can you see how close I am? It’s amazing. That’s the power of yoga.

Yoga magic

Today was one of those days. It was raining, it was cold. It was blah. After work, Julie said she was going to a powerflow class at Pure. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go. Actually, I knew I didn’t. It felt like a crash-on-the-couch-and-watch-a-movie day. Then Julie said we could go to Booster Juice, which is good, and that it was Jen’s class, which is great. I decided to go and just do what I could.

This is where the yoga magic happened. As soon as I walked into the hot room, I felt better than I had all day. I think the girls at the studio should offer a time slot where people can just come in and hang out in the hot room.

This is what I love about Jen’s classes: she gets you into poses you’ve never done before. Ever hear of bird of paradise? It’s this awesome, twisty, arms linked, leg up thing, and I did it! It wasn’t perfect, but I was pretty impressed with myself, because it was the first time I ever tried to do it. We started off in crescent lunge, then somehow wrapped our arms around one leg, took two steps forward, lifted a leg, and voilà, awesomeness! This is what it looks like when you’ve been doing it forever. I don’t think I looked like this, but I was smiling!

I think feeling pretty pleased with myself gave me energy. When we went down on our backs to do some back bends, Jen suggested we first do bridge or supported bridge, then try wheel, if we wanted to. I’m a big fan of supported bridge, but I decided to go with bridge. I haven’t done wheel since I was a kid. I always stick with bridge.

For several reasons (a, I felt like a superhero after bird of paradise, b, Jen is awesome and c, there was really good music) I decided I wanted to try wheel. I told Jen I couldn’t do wheel, thinking there might be a variation I could try. She said I could do it. I said no. She said yes. I said I wasn’t strong enough. She said I was, but maybe I was scared.

This made me think. Maybe I was scared. I didn’t want to be scared. Jen said “What’s the worst that could happen?” Insert yoga magic here. I decided to go for it. My first try was not quite right. I tried again. Jen helped me lift my hips, then asked if she could let go. I felt pretty strong, so I said yes. There I was, hanging out in wheel.

I can’t stop smiling. Even now, hours later. And to think, I didn’t even want to go to yoga today. I would have missed out on the yoga magic!