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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

a shock to the system

maybe it's just me.

somehow, transitioning from a blissful sweat class with saul david raye on sunday to the heavenly sweat class with kim chau on monday was too much of a shock to my system.

saul's class at exhale venice was another of his signature vinyasa flow classes -- some meditation, some asanas, some chanting. as the poses became more demanding, my body warmed up, i broke into a delicious sweat, and i found myself enjoying the moment. ahhhh....

as for kim's supposedly heavenly class at lyfe yoga center, as the movement became more demanding, my body tensed up, i broke into a heavy sweat, and my inner yogini screamed: "what the h*ll did you just get yourself into?!?!" arghhhh!!

maybe i'm just getting too fragile in my old age :(

you see, besides wanting to pay a visit to the newly-renamed lyfe yoga center (the former planet yoga) in hermosa beach, what initially enticed me to take that monday evening class was its description:

This vigorous and powerful class links yoga poses into heat-building sequences with weighted bars and a core ball to ensure maximum benefits during your practice. Continual movement is encouraged by soulful and mind-lifting rhythms in hip-hop, rock, world, and alternative genres. If you are looking for a distinctive and unique addition to your practice, become empowered at Heavenly Sweat!

after gorging on junk food at work earlier that day, i decided to take what sounded like (at least to me) a "weighted" version of matt reyes's hip-hop yoga class to burn off those extra calories. but to my dismay, kim's class turned out to be a high-cardio aerobics session with some basic yoga poses thrown in just to make it yoga-esque. honestly, if i had wanted to take an aerobics class, i would have gone to a gym.

maybe i'm becoming too set in my ways?

i must say that i have to give credit to all the energy our perky young instructor happily shared with our class. she positioned herself at the front of the room, and while she called out the moves, she demonstrated what we were supposed to be doing. move quickly to keep your heart rate up, she instructed, as she pulsed. and bounced. and kicked.

and maybe if i kept at it, i thought, i would be that much closer to having a lean, tight body just like hers. but then again, she's probably half my age. and probably has never experienced the joy of having to lose 20 pounds of post-pregnancy weight. twice.

i tried my darned best to keep up. that is, until i realized that all that jerky movement was bound to injure my already weak back. or knees. or some other body part that hadn't seen an aerobics class since jane fonda wore leg warmers. to make matters worse, if i waved those weighted bars up and down as quickly as kim was doing, there was a chance i could tweak muscles in my wrists, elbows, and/or shoulders. it had taken me almost a year to get to a virtually pain-free state; i wasn't about to pull something else and start physical therapy all over again...

the voices of all my yoga teachers started ringing in my ears -- listen to your body... work to your own ability... don't compare yourself to the others... this is not a competition. i slowed down my pace and concentrated on keeping all my movements slow, smooth, and controlled. so what if i made one lunge for every two kim made? or one side bend for every three of hers? or did bent-knee crunches while she had her legs straight up in the air? i was determined to get through the class injury-free, and if it meant doing things differently, so be it.

when it was all over, i managed to emerge from the class relatively unscathed; however, i did end up feeling some minor discomfort in my forearm later than night and stiffness in my neck the next morning.

maybe i just found the perfect excuse for a heavenly massage :)


Blogger Unknown said...

It sounds like you survived despite the challenge! They will add the word "yoga" to anything. It is a marketing thing. So sad when traditional yoga is so sacred. We just recently relocated to Washington DC. I miss all the yoga studios in the santa monica area. I used to have all the schedules in my glove box and at any given time of day I could take a class. It was heaven.

5:37 AM  
Blogger joni said...

hi danielle --

studio schedules in your glovebox? sounds like you're a yoga junkie like me! santa monica is truly a yoga mecca; i don't know what i'd do if i ever had to move out of the area...

3:56 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

They're diluting the term yoga so much that it won't mean anything anymore one of these days...

8:11 PM  

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