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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Extreme Tightness

Cast our minds back to the class in which fellow yoga students got smacked by this instructor who ran around in his swimming trunk. And I thought THAT was terrifying ... until tonight. I showed up for this "yin yoga" class led by an instructor I'd never tried before. He has tattoos all over, looking more like a triad member than a yogi, but that was NOT the most terrifying part.

Allow me to explain. In a Yin class, we normally hold our poses for a lot longer (up to five minutes or more sometimes) because we work not our muscles (like in Power yoga or Hatha) but the tissues lying beneath them. So the focus is more on stretching (and breathing) that helps us get to those deep parts. The experience can be intensifying physically (and emotionally, like your head is screaming HELP!) and is made the more difficult when you have to keep still. But this deep stretching can really loosen up the body. It was during tonight's class when I realised how tight my whole body is. The first pose was to stretch the hamstrings - ouch - followed by a series of hip-opening poses - ouch x 10 ... THEN we had to do all sorts of (intensive) twisting that pulled bits (under the muscles) which I didn't realise existed - ouch x nth. At one point, one of my legs went completely numb and I wasn't sure that was entirely what should be happening.

Since it was the first time with this teacher, I purposedly hid self at the back of the studio but he somehow had this radar that detected students like me. So, he zeroed in onto me several times and, for one particular pose, he slowly pushed my chest onto the ground (the only thing that got in the way between my chest and the floor was, like, my foot so ...) It was so, not exactly painful but, uncomfortable I was close to tears ...

When the session was over, I was v relieved. The teacher said throughout the class that we had a choice: to think of all the exercising and stretching as suffering OR to think of it as good/fun practising. I frankly didn't know what to think ... just NEVER AGAIN!

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