Last night was weird.
In the morning I had absentmindedly grabbed yoga clothes and shoved them in my bag before taking off for work and sometime in the late afternoon perused the Exhale evening schedule for a yoga class to attend. It might be the first time I’ve integrated yoga into my life so automatically, which I like.
The class that worked best with my office hours was an hour and a half of PranaVayu Intermediate/Advanced. I read the description and it sounded fabulous, especially the full 15 minutes of guided meditation at the end, but the intermediate/advanced classification had me scared. Would it be a room full of lotuses, handstands, or other super twisty advanced yogis? (You’ll notice I skipped the prospect of intermediate altogether. Worst case scenario, always.) I called the studio — the same way I did before my first vinyasa flow at Exhale, come to think of it — and told the receptionist I had been practicing regularly for a year when she asked. Woah. Already?You’re ready for this, she assured me. Register now? Click.
The cool thing is that I must fall I to the early-stage intermediate category, because I totally managed. The class was packed (and there were like 8 dudes, plus the teacher, which was cool) and the teacher, David, actually created the PranaVayu style of practice. He was methodical and deliberate in his instructions, but slipped in some funny lines and showed some personality here and there.
That’s where the bellyflopasana came in. He was referring to the potential crash and burn transition from crow pose to chaturanga (stage two of the three options he provided… I did the crow, but not the transition), but for me, the bellyflop-asana was in the wacky cramping I had going on through the first half of class. I’ve been dehydrated recently, so it could be linked to that, but my feet were cramping up like woah in most of the warrior poses and then again in up-dog. It was super awkward and uncomfortable and had me a little frustrated. Then, right at the end of the asana practice, I overextended my left hand pushing up (too aggressively?) into wheel and messed up that “webbing” area between my thumb and pointer. Luckily we moved quickly into savasana, which was blissful, but as soon as class ended, it was clear something wasn’t right with my hand.
After throwing a quick Did I just break my thumb in yoga?! up on Facebook, a friend who is a hand therapist (thank goodness for Lisa!) messaged me and talked me through the ligaments, my symptoms, and a course of action, which, unsurprisingly, started with ice. It’s feeling kind of okay this morning. Achy and sort of tired, but not quite so present. No down dogs for me for a few days.
I plunked a bag of frozen veggies on my hand when I got home, popped an anti-inflammatory, and camped out. Then, out if nowhere — like NOwhere — I puked. What??!! In case it was some sign that I’d hit my quota on weird for the day, I went to bed.
One last thing, so I don’t end on such a gross, graphic note: I was catching up on a cool yoga blog, OmGal, yesterday and the yogi, Rebecca, posed a really awesome question and way of establishing your intention at the beginning of class (especially when you’re new and have no idea what your intention should be).
How do you want to feel at the end of your practice?
I can think of dozens of words to answer the question: taller, at peace, calm, strong, energized, unified, open-minded, empowered, like I worked really hard, ready to take on the world.
Asking yourself how you want to feel at the end is actually a useful way to approach almost anything… your day, a meeting, a new year, your life. So, I challenge you to think about how you want to feel at the end of the day today. I want to feel productive and positive. How about you?