Budokon- classes 3 and 4

As I missed one of the classes in my Budokon course my lovely teacher let me come along to the other course she is running at the same time. I’d never say no to a free yoga class but I was apprehensive about taking classes two days in a row.

The first class was at Yoganesh which is one of my favourite yoga studios in my corner of London. It’s bright and light with wooden floors and has a very welcoming feel. The only down side is that it’s a fairly small space  so trying not to kick anyone else in the face adds an extra level of challenge…..

For some reason my brain refuses to take in the dancing dog sequence so I had to keep checking the next posture. I was so focused on just trying to get the moves in the right order  that I didn’t have enough space left in my brain to concentrate on my alignment and transitions. I’d also managed to choose the spot with the creaky board which didn’t help me to feel any more graceful!

As the class progressed I didn’t manage to add much extra elegance but I thoroughly enjoyed getting my body moving. I find the Budokon style much harder work but the need for concentration on the sequences means that I don’t really notice how much effort I’m putting in until the end.

I arrived at the next days class a little achey but optimistic. The good thing about taking classes two days in a row is that you can see the improvement straight away. Most of the dancing dog sequence finally sunk into my brain and I was able to start working a little on alignment and aesthetics which I was very pleased with- although I have a lot of work left to do.

Now I’ve reached the end of the 4 week course I feel as though I’ve dipped my toe into the water with Budokon but have a whole heap left to learn before I feel anywhere near proficient! I’ve enjoyed myself though and hopefully I’ll get myself to some drop in classes in the near future. In the mean time I’m rather looking forward to getting back to my usual vinyasa flow class this week.


Budokon challenge – part 2

My head cold has now finally gone so I was able to get myself down to yoga this week. I felt particularly proud of myself for struggling through the rain (it appears to be monsoon season in London at the moment which is not helped by my apparent inability to buy waterproof shoes). I was looking forward to class not having done much yoga through the duration of my cold (I don’t think a few frankly half arsed vinyasa sequences really count) and I wasn’t disappointed as it was a fun class and even better I could really feel myself working.

With the rain beating down on the roof we got straight into our dancing dog sequence. It’s fair to say that I haven’t missed my calling as a dancer/acrobat as I find it really hard to remember a sequence of movements. Somehow all memory of the previous class had left me and me and my two left feet stumbled our way through the sequences with absolutely no hint of grace and a lot of stopping to look at what everyone else was doing. I think I finally have it now though and am determined to have a practice this week however tempting it will be just to run through my usual vinyasa.

One of the really interesting aspects of this style of yoga is the animal references. As part of the class one of the exercises was a series of animal walks; a money, a cat and dolphin (and some other things I have already forgotten). After my initial apprehension about looking silly this was both fun and liberating although hard on the legs! I can really feel it today.

Although many of the postures and sequences in this style are very similar to what I’m used to the subtle differences make it much harder work and much more tiring. I’m really relishing the chance to use my body differently and waking up muscles that I haven’t been using in my normal practice.

While I am finding the course a challenge there’s something very liberating about not being a natural to this style. I know that I’m never going to be brilliant so there’s no point in comparing myself to everyone else. I’m free to go on my own little journey.

Budokon Yoga and why back to back classes are a bad idea for me…

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!