You read it right: I’ve completed my third yoga practice since last week, and I’m here to tell you it’s the hardest physical exercise I’ve ever encountered. I was fairly confident that my FiveFingers Classics would excel in yoga forms and stretches, but not so. No matter how I tightened my VFFs, my heels kept popping up out the back. That only really happened maybe four times.
I don’t feel free to express all my impressions and feelings about yoga at this time. A deep internal work is going on, and I don’t want to spoil it. I WILL say that each of the three sessions I’ve attended are taught by different people, so I’ve experienced three very different approaches and speeds.
The first practice last Thursday was slow and meditative. The woman leading spoke very gently and calmly. She explained every single move, and I was amazed by the experience.
The second practice was late Saturday afternoon involved some pop music and we changed forms three times faster. I lasted 35 minutes and lay exhausted on the mat for the remaining 20.
The third practice on Tuesday night involved more music and was led by a young woman who is no doubt attempting to take over the world. We changed forms at such a terrific pace that I basically only performed every fourth form. It was probably three times faster than Saturday’s practice. There were very few pauses or reflection. It was much more aerobic.
Needless to say, I have many obstacles in my path, the first being my weight. The “resting” positions which are meant to allow you to completely rest for a moment are extremely difficult for me because of my belly. It’s in the way of everything. Some of the basic holds involve shifting most of your weight onto the shoulders and palms. At my current weight, my wrists and shoulders were hurting more than is healthy. It doesn’t help that I’ve gone from complete couch-potato-desk-job-man to pretzel-gumby-man.
I am currently one of the LEAST flexible people I know. My muscles are WEAK from a lack of consistent exercise. This is difficult for me in just about every way. To give you a mental image, picture everyone else in a resting pose, breathing calmly. Now picture me panting like a dog and turning red because I can’t reach the resting position and my belly is shoving my organs into my spine. Yes. There you go. Feel my pain.
Did I mention that only women lead my practices and they have no “parts” in the way when demanding we stand with feet together and thighs squeezed together. It’s just not that simple, ladies.
That’s it for now. I have excluded most of the profound parts because for now, at least, these are all mine and not for sharing.