Thursday, December 17, 2015

Yoga Flow - 17th December (Jon)

Natalija - Yoga Flow

The last time I went to a yoga class was more than 10 years ago, when my wife (who is a yoga lover) dragged me to Valentine's day class for couples. Clearly I didn't catch a "yoga fever", although I know that I probably should go to these sort of classes more frequently to improve my flexibility and balance--two areas which are important to develop as one gets older.

Today's Yoga Flow class with Natalija was attracted an even mix of men and women from their warm beds at 06.30 AM on a cold and rainy morning. If yesterday's Soma Move class felt like Yoga on steroids, this was much more like what I expected from a traditional yoga class. The class is set to calm music, and the pace is gentle. There is no sweating here--my average pulse was 92 bpm--but that said there is no rest either. You are constantly in motion or in a pose--downward facing dog, upward facing dog, warrior (1,2 and 3) and many more classic yoga poses. There were no periods of meditation or just sitting (at least none to speak of). 

I found the class challenging, but not impossible for a beginner. Natalija is a lot more flexible than I am, but she started most poses with an "easy" stance and then showed a more advanced version for those who were capable. The most difficult (for me) were the balance poses, like Warrior 3 and Airplane, and this is clearly an area where I could really improve if I invested a bit more time and effort. 

Afterwards, I must say that I felt great. I felt taller (literally!). Some of the poses had caused tingling in my hands and feet--similar to what I've experienced when I've had massages previously and the massage therapist has worked out a kink in a muscle somewhere. It was a totally different feeling than I have after a more high impact class like spinning or Tabata--more energizing and more comprehensive in some way.

A final note: Much to my delight, the class was in English (Natalija is from Latvia I found out later), so I could really focus on my form and didn't need to think so much about the language. 

Thanks Natalija! I feel great!

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