I was in two minds about going along to my yoga class last week. My phased return to work is proving much more tiring than I’d anticipated and on top of that I hadn’t slept well the night before. I was very tempted to sit on the sofa eating biscuits and drinking tea. Usually when I’m feeling tired or fed up a spot of yoga is just the thing to cheer me up. When I’m finished I feel much brighter and energised. That was enough to motivate myself to get there.
I arrived late to the class and missed my usual pre-class relaxation which is never a good start. I really relish my pre-class relaxation but sometimes I forget how important it is to calm down from the stresses of the day and get my head in the right place. My late start set the tone for the class and I very quickly realised that I was in for a bad yoga day. I’m hopeful that everyone has a bad yoga day from time to time… Suddenly it’s impossible to balance, remember a sequence, transition with anything approaching grace or indeed get your body to do anything very useful at all.
It’s all in the mind of course. There are so many things I have to learn about yoga. Somewhere along my journey I hope that I will learn how to switch off my busy mind no matter how tired and stressed I may feel.
I’ve been taking vinyasa flow classes for a couple of years and while I’m still really enjoying it (and have a hell of a lot left to learn!) I’m not finding it nearly as challenging as I did when I first started. As I am lucky enough to have a yoga teacher who teaches in two different styles I finally decided to take the plunge and learn a bit more about Budokon.
In a slightly masochistic way I’m drawn to learn more about the style as much of the focus is on an area I really struggle with- fluidity of flow between postures. It’s also a very aesthetically pleasing practice with very graceful sequences which really appeals to me as I would love to be able to complete a beautiful looking sequence.
If I’m totally honest the first class of the 4 week introductory course was much harder going than I’d anticipated. This is probably partly because I thought it would be a good idea to take my usual class and the Budokon class back to back. My justification to myself was that I didn’t want to miss out on my usual class. I’ve been out of work for the past few weeks on doctors orders so I was hopeful that not having worked a full day before class would give me more energy. I think that subconsciously I was also feeling guilty for a definite softening round the edges that seems to have come from spending a lot of time at home (and eating a lot of cake….) .
Class 1 of 2 went very well. Really relaxing and much lower intensity than normal to allow for the second class. However when class 2 rolled around I was already feeling a bit weary. I also hadn’t anticipated how difficult it would be to shift from one style to another. I had hoped that as the differences are subtle the transition to the Budokon style would be easy. An optimistic assumption! Because the changes were subtle it took a lot of concentration to adapt. It became apparent that I am so used to my vinyasa sequence that I often do it on autopilot so having to really think about my postures and transitions all the way through while trying to stop myself from automatically doing what I always do was a real challenge.
I found the transitions between downward dog and floating upward dog the trickiest part to adapt to. The spine is supposed to flow between the postures with elegance. Unfortunately my spine doesn’t seem to want to flow! It might as well have a hinge! I don’t expect to become a Budokon expert in 4 weeks so it seems sensible to pick the aspects I want to focus on-and I think this will be it!
By the end of the two classes I was feeling super relaxed but as the evening wore on a nasty head cold was starting to sneak up on me. I’m pretty sure that’s my body’s way of telling me not to try and push myself to hard. I’ll be heeding that warning this week and only taking the one class-assuming my nose has cleared enough to allow me to breathe by then!