supercheesegirl: (yoga - iYoga)
I just got back from a 75-minute flow class at StaSu. Today's class was taught by Susan (who puts the "Su" in "StaSu"). I kind of felt like I spent most of the class critiquing her teaching? Like in Stacey's class, there were things she just didn't explain well. I've been doing yoga a while and I'm pretty adaptable, but sometimes I just didn't get what she was asking for.

Two examples: while we're in a high lunge, fingertips on the floor, Susan said, "Press your palms". I flattened my hands and pressed my palms against the floor. She said it again, and I'm like, yep, pressing here! Then she says "Press your palms together." She was actually asking us to press hands together at heart's center and rise up to standing. That's pretty different from what I thought she was going for, but I don't think I was being exceptionally dense in the way I misunderstood. There were other things, too, where she even came over to adjust me because I wasn't getting it. The other example: when we're in high plank, she would often say, "Step back into downward dog". But in high plank, there's no stepping involved to get to downward dog. You just push back or press back. This is admittedly minor, but it just feels imprecise to me.

I also didn't really get the structure of the class. There were some poses that we did twice that aren't typically done twice--it felt like she was padding to try to get the full 75 minutes. It also kind of felt like the transitions between poses were the most awkward transitions she could devise. I don't think I've ever gone into an eagle pose (which is a balance on one foot) from a wide-legged stance. It didn't feel natural. An airplane or half-moon balance, yes, because you're lifting the back foot, so it makes sense to get there from a wide-legged stance, but for eagle it was kind of odd. There were a few other things like that too.

When I compare this class to Lisie's class at Enso last week, Lisie's class definitely comes out on top: Lisie explained things in detail, was easy to understand, and the class was structured so that every pose built on the pose before.

I don't want it to sound like I didn't enjoy the class today, because I did. It was a great workout and I got all sweaty and, well, yoga is still yoga, and yoga is good (it's like pizza that way). But if I'm paying to attend a class, I don't want to be internally critiquing the teacher's methods during the class. I want it to make sense such that I don't even pay attention to it, or even to be so good that I can learn from it--with Lisie, I felt like I was learning so much just being in the room with her teaching technique. So, I think my conclusion is that I need to go back to Enso for a few more classes and try out the other teachers there before I go back to StaSu again.
supercheesegirl: (yoga - cute lotus sunburst)
I got in a brief jammie yoga practice yesterday morning. It was nice.

yoga # 72

Dec. 24th, 2009 12:18 pm
supercheesegirl: (yoga - cute lotus sunburst)
Today I had taken the day off from work, so I decided to catch a Christmas Eve yoga class at Enso. When I got there I was a little disappointed to hear that it was a "slow flow" class, but now I'm so glad I went.

First of all, Enso is a lot closer to me than StaSu, the studio I went to last week. Enso is right in Media, easy to get to, with ample parking. There's a roomy living room area, a small merch section, a nice big front desk, nice big changing rooms (with cubbies for people who go there regularly so they can just leave their mats there), and a massage room too. The studio space was nice and big: there were around 20 people in today's class and everybody fit with only a little rearranging. They keep a fairly warm room, too, which was good, and luckily I remembered to wear my short pants and bring a towel.

The class was great. Lisie is an excellent teacher, really talks through the poses. She starts off really simple and then builds up to more complex things, but in a way that elevates each movement step by step and warms up each part of the body. I hadn't really thought about it that way before. And it was not an easy class just because it was slow--it was really challenging to hold the poses and keep opening up into them. I really loved the class, but I don't know that I could do it all the time.

And then on the way home I tried to stop at Trader Joe's, couldn't find a parking spot, stopped at Acme instead, where it was crowded and awful, and by the time I got home all my yogic calm was gone and I hated everything. So I'm going to go make lunch with F and try to get that back now.

yoga # 71

Dec. 22nd, 2009 09:46 am
supercheesegirl: (yoga - cute)
Yoga this morning instead of jogging. My body really wanted to go jogging. F sugggested I do some jo-ga and incorporate jogging into my yoga routine, but I think I would hurt myself if I tried that. Anyway, I did my strength-building stuff.

I really need to clean the yoga room floor.
supercheesegirl: (yoga)
Yoga this morning. Mostly standing work. Made sure to do my squats!

Tomorrow I am planning NOT to go jogging. Two feet of snow fell on my neighborhood this weekend--there's slush and ice and huge plowed-up drifts everywhere. Not going to try exercising outdoors in that. Instead I'm planning to do yoga every day this week: Tuesday and Wednesday morning at my usual early time, and then on Thursday, I'll be using a vacation day, so I'm going to go to a vinyasa class at either 9:15 (at StaSu) or 9:30 (at Enso). Whee!
supercheesegirl: (yoga)
Tonight I went to a vinyasa flow class at StaSu Yoga! So exciting!

There was some kind of big traffic pile up on the highway, so I had to take the backroads to get there, and even the back roads were crowded with cars overflowing from the highway. Still, I got there in about 25 minutes. The studio wasn't hard to find. It's a really nice space--there's a nice-sized lobby, with comfy chairs and merch, and ample bathrooms with cubbies for your stuff. The yoga space is through a set of double doors. They keep a hot room, which I didn't realize going in, but it was really great. The yoga space is roomy but not huge; there's a mirrored wall, good lighting, and a good sound system (embedded in the ceiling, not just a boom box). They obviously put a lot of thought into the decor.

The class itself was really great. I've been needing this for a while now. 60+ minutes of serious vinyasa flow! I can't remember the last time I had a good vinyasa class--probably over a year now, since my membership ran out at my old gym. Stacey, the teacher and one of the studio's owners, really kept us moving. I'd almost forgotten how good that felt. My thighs weren't really up to it--I obviously haven't been doing my squats, since I couldn't hold chair pose or some of the other thigh-intensive things. But otherwise, I held my own in the class. Stacey as a teacher was pretty good--there were some poses that it didn't seem like she described well enough, so that even in a room full of seemingly experienced yoga-doers, everybody kind of scrambled for a second to figure out what we were doing. Mostly, though, she was great, and she did good adjustments, and structured the class well. I would definitely go back to her.

Afterwards, Stacey asked me if this was the sort of yoga I do, and I told her yes, I really liked the class. Then she said I have a beautiful practice. That made me smile.

And the first class was free! Definitely planning to go back there. Notes for next time: bring a towel, wear the short pants, and pull up hair in a bun (not a ponytail).

I'm concerned, though, because this is a Thursday night class, and dance class is usually on Thursday nights. I was looking forward to tap and african and especially indian dance. But vinyasa is so much closer to my heart. And this is the only 60-minute vinyasa flow class they have during the week--there's a 75-minute class on Tuesdays, but it starts at 6:00 and I just don't know if I can get there that early. I might try, though. A 75-minute vinyasa class might just be a good substitute for a Tuesday morning jog once it gets colder outside.

Overall, today I just feel really happy. I got some good writing work done this morning. I'm really happy with all the new poems that have been coming out in the past few months. I'm working on typing them all up now, and with every one I am just pleased and surprised at what I'd written. I have no idea if any of them will ultimately turn out to be publishable, but I'm really enjoying just being entertained by my own poems. I don't know if I ever felt like that before--I've felt good after writing, and satisfied with a poem, and proud of a poem, but just entertained and glad? I don't know. It makes me happy, anyway.

yoga # 69

Dec. 16th, 2009 11:14 am
supercheesegirl: (yoga - cute brown tree)
I realized this morning that, while I've been trying to get a good balance between standing work and seated work in a week, I haven't been getting in enough balance work or strength-building stuff. So I tried to do some of that today, but I got started later than I wanted, so I didn't do as much as I wanted to. But from what I did, I can tell I need to do more--my dancer pose was totally off-kilter and I could barely stay up. Sigh.

I think, as long as I'm doing the half-hour mornings three times a week, that Mondays will be focused on standing work, Wednesdays on balance and strength, Fridays on seated poses jammie-style. That way I should be able to hit everything important at least once a week.

F just sent me the link for Tango411, which is starting to run yoga classes in a beautiful studio (previously occupied by Maitri Yoga, a 5-class card for which was supposed to be my birthday present until they went out of business).

And he also sent me a link to Sprout Yoga, which is a yoga non-profit that sounds so unbelievably awesome and important and wonderful and I'm trying to figure out how much time I can volunteer with them. I want to get in touch with them after Christmas and see what they need that I can help with. I could learn so much from them and make new connections and it could be really great for me as well as getting me started in the sort of work I want to do. So, yay.
supercheesegirl: (yoga - cute)
Half an hour of yoga this morning. Mostly standing work. I really need to go to a vinyasa-style class sometime soon. I feel like a dummy--getting into a regular studio practice was one of my big goals for this fall. Instead I started taking dance class, which is healthy exercise even if it's not yoga, and also started rocking the morning yoga, which is an improvement over what I was doing before, but a few half-hour sessions a week still isn't as good as a few hourlong sessions a week. Anyway, I'm not judging on myself for not getting into a studio practice yet--things just didn't go that way--but it really needs to happen. I think Tuesdays starting after the holidays will be what I shoot for. F still has a five-class card birthday gift to put into action for me, after all.

In other news from the realm of Awesome Stuff I Could Be Doing If I Hadn't Moved To Swarthmore, Saturday night we drove through my old neighborhood, and I saw that a brand-new yoga studio just opened two blocks from my old apartment. Can we all say "Argh!"? So frustrating. A yoga studio I could walk to!

However, I should be fair. I've been taking dance classes because that studio is less than a block from my new apartment. And I did try the Tuesday yoga class there. There's also, theoretically, yoga classes at a place two blocks in the other direction and then some sort of yoga studio half a mile past that, and I haven't even been to either place yet, let alone to any of the places in Media. So there's no need to get a grump on just because there's a new yoga studio in my old neighborhood--I haven't even explored all the yoga in my new neighborhood yet!
supercheesegirl: (stars and swirls)
You guys are all going want to slaughter me, but I have to say, Thursday night's flamenco class was really terrific and I'm sorry the session is over now.

No, seriously! I feel like I was just starting to really get some of the movements. And I could really feel that the wrist and arm motions were good for me. I'm going to try to incorporate some of that stuff into my regular yoga practice, but it's much more intense in flamenco class, where the teacher is watching and constantly correcting me. And I was actually starting to enjoy the dancing, to enjoy how it feels and the physical and emotional intensity of it. It was starting to come together as more than just a series of demanding movements. I don't know. I don't plan to run right out and sign up for classes at Elba's flamenco studio--I have way too much else going on to consider that--but I may keep it tucked away in the back of my mind for future reference.

I also had my usual little Jammie Yoga practice on Friday morning. It was... usual, I guess. I did all seated postures and worked on legs.

I've been really, really busy at work lately, so I haven't been keeping up well with internet things. But the weather forecast looks pretty positive for Tuesday, so I'm hoping it will be nice enough I can still go for my jog. And my friend Chris recommended that I check out Target's line of runner clothes, so I may try to do that soon too.

yoga # 67.5

Dec. 9th, 2009 11:06 am
supercheesegirl: (yoga - iYoga)
Half an hour of yoga this morning. I started off with five minutes of Flamenco Hands--one of the things I hate most about winter is that my wrists get all repetitive-stressy because I have to blow dry my hair every day, and Flamenco Hands really seems to help with that. Mostly it was just kind of a gentle practice--I flowed through the standing work pretty quickly. I wish I could get myself out of bed earlier and have a full hourlong session in the morning, but I just don't think I can make that happen.

In other news, my grande nonfat no-whip peppermint mocha is awesome, which is good, because my job is the opposite of a grande nonfat no-whip peppermint mocha.

yoga # 67

Dec. 7th, 2009 08:51 pm
supercheesegirl: (yoga - iYoga)
Yoga this morning. 30 minutes. I really need a longer yoga practice. Also, that class with Barbara last week is making me rethink how I do everything. I need to get to a vinyasa class somewhere to reset myself. Haven't done vinyasa with a teacher in a loooooong time.
supercheesegirl: (stars and swirls)
Back to flamenco again last night. It was better this week--even though I hadn't had class in two weeks (migraine, then Thanksgiving), I feel like my body is starting to get the movement a little better. I also think I'm finally accepting that this is not going to be my thing--I've been training my body in a very different physical activity for the past six years, and it would take a lot of serious work to train it to do flamenco. It would be a big investment that I'm not willing to make. So instead of getting stressed out about how bad I am at flamenco, I'm trying to just enjoy the time I have with flamenco. It's hard, though, because the class just isn't fun for me. Elba is a hard taskmaster, and we students don't really talk much--we can ask questions, of course, and she's supportive and encouraging, but we don't chat or make jokes or anything. And even though I was working on lightening up and enjoying it, by the end of class I was back to making my determined face and getting angry at the steps. But I'm okay with that too--as Elba says, you need a certain amount of anger to do flamenco properly, and I wouldn't be me if I just flaked out now and stopped trying. I'm going to keep trying to get it right, as best I can, but I'm not beating myself up about "failing" at flamenco anymore. I am trying flamenco. It's an interesting experiment!

This morning I did some jammy yoga, about 20 minutes. I definitely had some soreness from flamenco, soreness from not having done yoga since Tuesday, and soreness from not getting a good night's sleep, plus some emotional stuff going on. The yoga was a good thing, even if I only did a little bit. I felt refreshed and much more ready to face the day.

yoga # 66

Dec. 2nd, 2009 10:26 am
supercheesegirl: (yoga - iYoga)
Last night I went to a yoga class at The Creative Living Room--it's the place where I take the dance classes, and I missed a dance class a few weeks ago because I had a migraine, so they let me make it up with yoga. Very nice and flexible of them!

It was an interesting class--definitely a more restorative style, rather than the vinyasa flow that I usually practice or the hatha that Lucia teaches, but that made it interesting--I stretched in different ways than I'm used to. Practicing a style of yoga I'm not used to is an exercise in humility for me, and an exercise in paying attention. With a new teacher, I totally want to push really hard to impress her, but that's not the way to go about doing yoga. Last night I worked to focus just on what I was doing right then, and listening to her voice, and paying attention to make sure I was doing the pose properly. Of course most of the poses were familiar, but with a different style of yoga, there's a whole different approach, and I needed to be careful that I didn't assume anything. This teacher did bridge pose entirely differently than I'm used to and that was kind of cool. Also, I'd never used a blanket in my practice before.

This teacher, Barbara, said "Fire up the muscles in your legs" a lot, but mostly she was really great. Apparently there's a studio in Media where she also teaches, so I'm going to email her and get the info. I don't know that I'd want to make this sort of class my primary practice, but a few times a month it could be really helpful.

yoga # 65

Nov. 30th, 2009 10:39 am
supercheesegirl: (yoga - cute lotus sunburst)
Did just under 30 minutes of yoga this morning. With the holidays, I hadn't practiced since last Wednesday, so I was pretty stiff. Also, F and I took a long walk yesterday afternoon, and I felt pretty stiff after that too, so that might have contributed. Backs of legs in particular needed work. Overall, though, really good to get back on the mat.

I bought the current issue of Yoga Journal at the co-op yesterday. Really enjoying it. Formulating next year's resolutions already.
supercheesegirl: (yoga - cute brown tree)
Tonight F did yoga with me! We each had a stressy day at work, and we were both all grumpy when we got home, so I asked F if he wanted to do yoga with me. It was actually really fun. F encouraged me to practice talking through the yoga the way a teacher would (since he needs coaching anyway), and I had never really done that before. I definitely could feel the soothing yoga teacher voice coming out. F gave me some tips on how to describe things better, and I helped F learn a few new things and helped him a little with his sore back. It was really nice to share some yoga with F, we don't do that very often.
supercheesegirl: (yoga - cute lotus sunburst)
Had an excellent 30-minute yoga practice this morning. I also successfully got up 10-15 minutes early (depending on what you define as my usual wake-up time), started yoga 10 minutes early, finished yoga in 30 minutes and showered early, and thus was able to have a good 15 minutes to dry my hair. This made my morning much less stressful. Hooray for getting back into a routine! Even a routine that will be interrupted in three days with mass quantities of food!

Also, today I am wearing my new green skirt. With my off-white sweater and my tall brown boots. I call it my sexy librarian look. Awesome.

F and I spent the weekend on Long Island with F's best friend Mike and his wife Sarah. It was an excellent weekend. We visited some wineries on Saturday and took the dog for a long walk in the park on Sunday. I really like Mike and Sarah a lot.

Also, it's really good to have F back at home now. Last night after we got home we had soup for dinner (savory mushroom and brie!) and curled up on the couch together. Happy times.

yoga # 63

Nov. 19th, 2009 10:28 am
supercheesegirl: (yoga - cute lotus sunburst)
I skipped yoga yesterday morning for the dumbest reason: I got a haircut Tuesday night, and it looked all nice, and I didn't want to muck it up with yoga. I did like ten minutes just to stretch a little without getting sweaty and then I got ready for work. Last night I actually did my practice. I'd been hoping to get in a full hour, since I have more time at night and F wasn't around, but I ended up going to the mall and watching SYTYCD and then getting caught in the internet vortex, so I didn't start until late and only got in half an hour before bed. Better than nothing, though! It felt really good to be doing yoga at night until I tried to do crow and lost my balance, falling forward and banging my head. I have never done that before. Seriously. Somehow when I fall out of crow I usually fall in some other direction? Anyway, I banged my head, and then I got all worried that I'd have a concussion and with F out of town I'd die in my sleep. And then I got to worrying about what would have happened if I'd banged my head really hard and passed out and died there on the floor in the yoga room. And then I got all mad that I'd die so stupidly from doing yoga alone in the house when I have so much else to do in my life. I really need to stop getting caught in the internet vortex and write. I mean, did cave people waste time like we do? Was there some cave man grunting about how he'd work on painting that buffalo he killed in a little while but right now he was going to go toss twigs in the fire just for ten minutes? I would say probably not. I swear, The Onion is right and glowing boxes are destroying our culture.
supercheesegirl: (yoga - iYoga)
I invented another new kind of yoga. I call it Reluctant Yoga. It's similar to Jammie Yoga but a lot grumpier.

Did about 20 minutes this morning, wasn't really into it (obviously) but at least I did something.

For a change, I listened to Iron & Wine. Remind me not to do that again. At least the first few tracks on their album "Our Endless Numbered Days" are all about death. Also, "Teeth in the Grass" is a really weird song. Sit down and listen to the words sometime. Not exactly what I want to be pondering while trying to do yoga at 7:15 AM.
supercheesegirl: (conan the barbarian)
I think my body is just not right for flamenco. My teacher is a tiny curvy Spanish woman who has been dancing flamenco since her early teens. I am a large gangly white woman who's been training her body for yoga for the past 6+ years. My body just doesn't get flamenco. I dance flamenco the way a giraffe staggers after it's been shot with a tranquilizer. I have actually started a poem describing all the awkward things about the way I dance flamenco (starting with that giraffe line). I was glad that last night marked the halfway point: three flamenco classes down, three more to battle through. And, you know, it kind of isn't even fun? My teacher is so talented and so interesting, but she works us really hard. There's no chitchatting, just work. One of the things I liked about the modern dance class was the camaraderie that built up among us, but I can't even remember the names of two of the women in the flamenco class.

Not to say that I'm not making improvements. I am definitely improving, and my body is starting to get it. I had a couple little moments last night where the posture actually clicked into place. Then it immediately clicked out again, but, well, what can you do. And the shoes make my feet hurt a lot.

Anyway, enough whining! Only three more classes. I am learning patience and perseverance. And flamenco's good for my hands, anyway, and it's a great workout.

Did 25-30 minutes of yoga this morning even though my yoga room was unavailable. I moved the coffee table to one side and did yoga in the living room. Nice.

yoga #61.5

Nov. 11th, 2009 02:28 pm
supercheesegirl: (yoga - cute)
Typical yoga morning. About a 35-minute practice. Last time I'll have the yoga room for a few days, since we have An Out-Of-Town Visitor arriving tonight. Hopefully I will do some jammie yoga in the living room on Friday morning.

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