Category Archives: Uncategorized

Traveling Yoga

I went to see my family this weekend. I love to practice on their patio, but it was super hot (in the 90s) and I didn’t fit it in. I went for a long walk with my sister and her dog, then with my mom and her dog, and I did the Kundalini video once, so I kept up the meditative movement if not the Vinyasa. And my hip felt great in class last night, so it seemed to appreciate the rest.

(That brings the total for last week, Monday–Sunday, to 2 classes, 2 DVD sessions, 2 walks… and some horseback riding.)

I find myself confused about what to do amid minor changes in environment. Carpet versus hardwood floors. Lamps versus windows. AC versus none. This is a drawback about spontaneous or flexible practice. If I was an Ashtanga devotee, I’d be doing the same thing every day, regardless of the space. But in my parents’ house it’s laid out for another type of lifestyle, so I have to find a space and schedule amid that. I did manage one 45-minute meditation at my sister’s house, when I woke up at 9 it was quiet and perfect there. I’m a little undisciplined right now, overanalyzing which type of yoga to do, and ending up with none. It’s like an attempt at Butoh dance, which takes the shape of whatever environment it’s in. This idea seems appropriate for yoga — I’ve always thought Vinyasa is so popular in NYC because the speed and the challenge is a perfect match — but I think it’s a little too unformed for me right now.

I will say that Raviana’s AM/PM yoga was perfect when I went to Israel (I did it every day and had no jet lag at all) but I had loaned the DVD to a friend. A short series in the morning, to get your breath and energy moving, and a short series at night, to de-stress and clear the mind, is ideal.

Out of Practice

Since I’ve been working full-time for the past 2.5 years, I’m feeling a little out-of-practice. I kept practicing at least 2-3 times a week during that period, but that’s really not enough for a yoga teacher (so I gave up my last class a few months ago). When you’re practicing 5, 6, 7+ times a week, you don’t have to demo a pose in order to feel it and give good instructions. Your muscle memory is so strong that you can look at a student and know what they’re feeling. You can teach a class without any planning, because at each pose you know what would feel right next.

Now, I’m feeling heavy and scatterbrained. My muscles ache in just about every pose. My ego is obsessed with how I compare to others in the room. I sit down but can’t focus; my brain is still practicing multi-tasking.

So this week, my first off, I’ve gone to 2 Vinyasa classes at my local studio, and done a Kundalini DVD. It’s nice to let someone else plan the sequence; I can just focus on 100% effort (and accommodating my hip strain). I just have to conquer the first hurdle — getting there — on my own, and they can lead me through the rest.