Sage words of advice for our Mariners, that. But this is not about the Mariners and how they’ve lost 7 of the 8 games I’ve seen played at Safeco Field this year. This is about how brushing up on the basics, or learning them in the first place can help take your yoga practice up, oh about 10 or 12 notches.
The yoga studio I go to just started offering a Power Vinyasa Fundamentals class once a week. Having been to one, count it one, power vinyasa class and falling miserably behind pretty much the entire time, I knew that if I want to mix vinyasa into my yoga routine, I needed to get up on the basics.
While hatha, which I love, focuses on flexibility, vinyasa is driven by strength. In hatha you hold a series of poses for a really long time, in vinyasa you power through the poses in a rushing river type flow. If I wanted to keep up with the river I needed a guide.
So off to the fundamentals class I went. The class was a mix of yoga newbies and frequent practitioners who wanted to work on their form. For an hour and fifteen minutes the instructor – who bears a striking resemblance to Ewan McGregor, yum – demonstrated, explained and individually corrected every student in every pose of sun salutation.
The class was conducted in a manner similar to dance choreography, we would learn a step and then another and then add them together.
About 75% of the way through class – and remember the heat is on at about 103 the entire time – I was chosen to demonstrate putting all the steps together while he coached me through and corrected my form, very slowly (I’m pretty sure I was picked because I happened to be in the middle of the room).
What this means is I got to hold high plank for like, forever and then attempt to move into low plank (I went for the modification and put my knees down) and stay there. It also means that I was a mass of cascading sweat while being adjusted. And let me tell you, it is disconcerting to have a hot guy put his hands on you – in a purely professional manner of course – when you’re dripping with sweat.
It was worth it though. I walked out of class with a corrected warrior 1, 2 and chair position and full knowledge of the poses in sun salutation. I also got to stare at eye candy for an over an hour – not a bad way to spend part of a Sunday morning.
The morning after class I woke up and soon discovered that those planks had taken their toll – my chest and arms were sore, as in having lifted weights sore even though no weights were involved. But that’s ok, I worked it out at hot hatha that night.