Monday, August 27, 2007

A Reluctant Yogi

I almost turned around and walked out when I realized that my regular yoga teacher Leyla was on vacation and we had a sub. After all, I had already biked 20 miles today, so I really didn’t need the exercise. But after making the effort to get there, I decided to stay for the 90-minute class.

I thoroughly understand that Leyla can’t be there 52 weeks a year, but this sub was the one who torqued my shoulder 5 months ago, leaving me with a problem that has never totally gone away.

Naomi is an adorable pretzel-like yoga teacher who is bubbly and enthusiastic and actually a little too talkative for my taste. She constantly walks around the room making corrections as we hold the various poses. I made up my mind to quickly tell her I was “injured” if she approached me to offer a correction.

I’m sure she cringed at many of my poses tonight, but only once did she say anything, simply telling me to put a slight bend in my knees without physically making a correction. I wondered if Leyla had advised her to let me do my own yogic thing, knowing that I had had a bad experience with Naomi when she (Leyla) was on maternity leave.

Tonight’s theme was twisting. We twisted while we lunged, twisted while we did the warrior poses, twisted in triangle pose, twisted while “threading the needle”, twisted while we sat on our sitz bones, and probably twisted in some other poses. When I couldn’t manage to create the requested pretzel, I just relaxed in child’s pose.

I made it through the class with no further injury and made my peace with Naomi. But I will be so glad when Leyla is back. I think I will be in her level 1 class forever. It’s just what I need to hang onto what little flexibility I have.


Blogger Kristin said...

It's good to know that while the class wasn't ideal, it ended on a positive note.

What a physical day! The bike ride. The yoga.

10:29 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- The funny thing is I was less tired after all that physical activity than I usually I when I'm just a slug.

8:21 AM  
Blogger GEWELS said...

Thank God Yoga is not a competitive sport.
I had a very similar experience in one of my classes a few years back. I have a VERY bad back and this class was ALL back bends (I, too, almost turned around and walked out).
My instructor- seeing me tentatively attempting (camel pose maybe? I can't remember)-also came over and attempted to help me get into it deeper. I told him that I just couldn't. His response was that I was simply "afraid" to bend deeper, and he proceeded to try to get me into it. That is, until he saw the tears spring into my eyes (first time I ever cried in Yoga class. Then the realization hit him that I really could not do it.

Every class after that focused on back bends he would apologize in advance to me. And, I siply did what I could.

Child pose is my favorite, next to corpse pose, that is.HAHA

10:07 AM  
Blogger Ruth D~ said...

Hi Barbara, I like your blog and will be back to get more of your real life experience and wisdom. Maybe I'll even get back to yoga. To think . . . I used to lead a yoga class and now touching my toes is not without effort. :>)

11:18 AM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Twisting and lunging? Makes me want to twist and shout, and go running OUT of the yoga studio.

Seriously, many people get injured in yoga, for a variety of reasons. One of my clients has Horner's Syndrome, an injury to the nerves that makes one pupil open wider than the other. It's not good and was completely unnecessary. The injury was caused by a headstand in yoga.

Don't stand on your head, evah!!

3:05 PM  
Blogger steve said...

20 miles on the bike then a 90 Minute yoga class?
Why doncha just go ahead and join the friggin Marines, Gomer!
We can call the sub 'Sgt Carter"

3:08 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Gewels -- My regular teacher Leyla always tells us to let our bodies guide us as to what we want and can do. She is so wise.

Ruth D -- I have never been able to touch my toes. I don't imagine it's in my future. But I keep doing standing forward bends anyway.

Reya -- Not to worry. Headstands will never happen in level 1. I feel safe with Leyla.

Steve -- Don't get me wrong. I am no jock! I could survive in the Marines for about 5 minutes. I almost flunked the President's (Kennedy's) Fitness Test in the 7th grade.

4:18 PM  

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