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Monday, April 17, 2006

kicking butt

there's nothing like a good kick-butt yoga class to kick off the start of a week-long trip across the country. i'm flying out later today for what i've been referring to as the "college selection" tour; now that my daughter's received all her college acceptances, we're going to visit all the schools she never got a chance to check out when we started this whole college search process a few years back. three cities in five days, starting in chicago and ending in providence.

knowing that it was going to be hard for me to find the time to take a scheduled yoga class while running around cities, i took one last yoga class this morning. i'd also invested in a new audio CD so that i could try to do some yoga in my hotel room while on the road. i'm taking bryan kest and his advanced yoga workout with me, knowing that on the two evenings (wishful thinking on my part?) that i'll find time to practice, i'll be working hard and getting my butt kicked.

speaking of getting my butt kicked, the class i took this morning was with a new teacher. no, john sahakian is not a new yoga teacher, although he does have some new time slots in the sacred movement schedule. at one time he used to assist and sub for other teachers; earlier this year he started teaching some evening classes. but when the studio printed up their latest class list, there he was, on monday and tuesday mornings. since i needed to get my yoga fix out of the way before heading out of town, i decided to give his class a try.

according to his bio:

John Sahakian believes that how we breathe reveals how we live. By linking breath with movement and asana, a great personal transformation can be experienced. "As our breath begins to flow, our lives begin to flow. The more we value our breath, the more we value life." John's approach to Hatha yoga sharply focuses on becoming more conscious of breath to feel one's natural state of peace, cultivating a practice that will enable one to respond to life's challenges in a healthier way, and integrating breath -- presence -- practice -- into every aspect of life.

since my legs were still tired from the running i did saturday morning, and my arms were tired from the push-ups that light had us do sunday morning at maha yoga, and my entire self was just plain tired from driving home late last night from spending easter with my sister in the OC, i honestly was hoping for a class that had us doing nothing more than breathe. ok, and maybe some gentle moves.

but what i had hoped for and what i got were two entirely different things :(

john had us breathing all right, but while we breathed, we moved back and forth, from one pose to another, stretching this way then that, then holding a pose and making small adjustments, and while changing the balance point, trying to stay upright and not fall over. it was tough! or could it be that i was just too tired? all i know is that i was doing sequences in his class that i hadn't done anywhere else, and considering the number of teachers i've practiced with, that's pretty impressive. i have in my mind now that if i can get through his class without feeling like a basket case, i've won the yoga war! that, and being able to do those handstands, too, of course...

the guy's good. and he's pretty good-looking too (here, see for yourself). it goes without saying that i'll be back soon :)