I’ve had a couple of power days recently. It started out with a session of “Advanced Power Yoga” on Saturday, instructed by Josh Jur. I was apprehensive about attempting a yoga class with such a title since I’m not advanced by any means. I discussed the class agenda with Josh a few days before the session. He told me that I should be OK, and that if I’m not capable of performing certain poses I can sit them out.
I registered for the class after talking to Josh and with several others who knew what Josh was trying to accomplish. I was one of three students attending the session. The other two were women. From my limited experience attending yoga classes, I’ve noticed that women seem much more flexible than men. That was the case on Saturday. What little I could see of the other participants, their flexibility was valuable in accomplishing several of the poses Josh worked us through.
My major hindrances in performing certain yoga poses are the limited range of motion in my shoulders and upper arms, my inflexible leg muscles, and my curving spine. Although I can work through most poses in a limited way, my goal is to gain flexibility so that I expend less energy and generate less heat in doing the poses I have trouble with.
One particularly difficult pose for me was the crane. I had never tried one, so had considerable difficulty in getting into it. Once I had achieved the goal of resting my knees on the backs of my arms, the next challenge was in holding myself off the floor. Repeated attempts proved unsuccessful for more than a few seconds. I felt as if my arms were strong enough, but my knees kept slipping off my arms. I definitely need to work on this one.
We did other things in Josh’s class that I haven’t tried before. I don’t recall the names of them all, but each was interesting and challenging. Some were nearly impossible. But it was a good workout and I’m glad I went. I’ll be back next Saturday.
Monday I attended Erin Long’s open training session. If Saturday’s workout was challenging and interesting, Monday’s was grueling and mind-boggling. Of course, we’re talking about two different things here – yoga vs. physical torture. But if you’ve read this blog before and have seen any of my posts concerning Erin Long’s training, you’ll know she does not spare the rod and spoil the child. In fact, Erin’s motto is more like “if you think this is difficult, wait till you try the next one.”
I’m posting this on Thursday, three days after Erin’s Monday session. My upper legs are killing me. As long as I don’t move, they’re not bad. But as soon as I stand up, I feel as if my legs are going to give out on me. I’m pretty sure I know exactly which exercises caused such intense discomfort. We used aerobic steps several times during the course of the evening. Using the steps puts unusual stress on certain muscles that normally aren’t stressed. Now I’m paying the price, as I’m sure all the other participants in Monday’s festivities are also.
That was Monday. On Tuesday, I attended Linda Ritter’s All Levels Yoga class. Linda threw in some pretty intense, long poses. My legs protested but I managed to get through without screaming in agony once. Trust me, it was difficult not to.
By Wednesday, my legs were pretty much rubber. My session with Shawn Watson, massage artist, was challenging to say the least. I came out of it intact but wondering when the pain in my upper leg muscles would subside so I could once again use a stairway.
There is much power in pain.