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Anusara Yoga (or, you want me to do WHAT?!)

Posted Jan 13 2012 12:00am

Since I had today off and I wanted to take advantage of my 40 days for $40 deal that I got at Breathe , I decided to head to a noon Anusara-Inspired yoga class.  I’d never heard of Anusara before, but when I read the description, it sounded interesting.

Anusara, a system of Hatha Yoga developed and founded by John Friend, masterfully blends Universal Principles of Alignment with heart-opening, creative expression making the practice a beautiful and delightful synergy of precision and grace. Detailed verbal cues,  hands-on adjustments, and demonstrations of poses with detailed explanations will be given. Each class will be infused with a heart-oriented theme, woven into the asana practice giving more potency and meaning to each pose.

Little did I realize that the class was a lot less hatha and a lot more vinyasa.  Meaning lots of flowing from one pose to the next.  Downward dog to Staff to Cobra to Plank to Warrior to…you get the idea.  I don’t like moving from one pose to the next too quickly, which is why I love Bikram, because you hold the poses for longer periods of time.

But I was there and I decided to fight back the inner fat girl in my head who told me to leave as soon as we started all the moving from pose to pose.  I got into every single pose for the first 40 minutes.  Granted, I wasn’t nearly as graceful for effortless as others, and I may have modified the poses a bit, but I got into them.  And then Daniella ,the teacher whom I absolutely loved, told us to move toward the wall.  And my intuition told me that this wasn’t going to be good.

Why oh why didn’t I listen to that feeling?

Daniella demonstrated how to get into a headstand.  Yes, a HEADSTAND!  WTF?!  I don’t think so.

No matter how many steps she was able to take us through, from being on all fours and lengthening the body and using the four corners of our body to propel us forward, there was simply no way that I was going to be able to get my body up and put all that weight onto my poor hands.

Just not going to happen.

And as I watched people attempting the handstand, I made the decision that I’d had enough yoga for one day, and I thanked Daniella for the class and I hit the bricks.

I mean, c’mon! A handstand?  Seriously?!  Don’t you think they should have mentioned that as one of the “heart-opening poses” in the description?

But I am glad I stayed for the first 40 minutes.  My heart rate was up and I can already feel the muscles in my thighs.  MyFitnessPal says I burned 768 calories, and while I know their estimates are higher than what a HRM might read, I’m ok with the inaccuracy, at least for now.  (Eventually I might want to buy a Polar F4 HRM, but that seems like a great reward item for making weight loss goals).  But, I digress…

I went on Breathe’s online class signup and decided on classes for the rest of my 39 days.  I’m not taking a  class every single day, but I am going to get my money’s worth.  Here’s what I’ve signed up for:

  • Sundays: Candle Light Yin
  • Tuesdays: Hot “Tapas” Yoga (“tapas” means “the discipline of steady practice which will lead to immediate internal and external benefits.”  Basically, Bikram yoga).
  • Thursdays: Hot Tapas Yoga
  • Fridays: Restorative
  • Saturday: Yoga Basics

I even signed up for Taiji and Qigong class on the last day of my 40 – Tuesday, February 21st – when I’ll be on February Break and able to take a morning class.

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