I am so excited to have committed to a 31 day studio yoga tour. As I check out a different teacher and or studio every day I will be writing about the experience. Please feel free to join me as I travel around, see schedule of coming up classes. Join the conversion; send us your yoga pictures, follow us on Twitter (@YogaWarehouseOK #YogaOK ) and FB http://www.facebook.com/YogaWarehouse for the chance to win some free stuff along the way!! Miss week one? here it is!
I wasn’t sure where Arise Yoga was when Lisa invited me to her class, it is in a lovely little area before Vernon and on this afternoon the sun was shining making it a perfect day for a drive. Arise Yoga is snuggled in with a chiropractor and Lisa explained the chiropractor was looking to have yoga in his office… love that! The studio is only 2 months open but is lovely, it was a little cold but the energy was nice. As a teacher I try to be welcoming to everyone and have had students sneak in late to my class, as a student I am not a fan. As two people came in during centring and I was cold, I wasn’t uncomfortable. However Lisa teaches from the heart and it did not take long till her love and passion engulfed the room. The use of imagery is powerful, she uses imagine, or picture yourself, to get you deeper into a feeling or posture and I found it useful. The practice was full of levels and stops so I felt challenged but the new students were well taken care of. Lisa’s voice is soothing she later told me she used to be on radio and that made sense as she has a very distinct pleasant voice. Lisa guest teaches at Lululemon when she can so if driving to her is not possible make sure you keep your eyes open for her near you!
O Bikram, how I loved you! I was as surprised as I know many of you are. I knew many facts about Birkam, its 40 degrees and humid, its the same 26 poses to detox, it keeps going no matter what is going on with the students, same cues and so on. There is nothing like personal experience, to be honest I expected to dislike this practice. I do not practice to detox or lose weight or stress my body I practice because I love it, so wasn’t sure that this style would suit me. Colleen invited me to her class and I was excited and nervous, she is very sweet. Colleen made sure I was prepared about water consumption, what to wear and bring to maximize my comfort. Not having met her in person till I arrived, I was at ease right away, she is lovely. The temperature was nice but she said there are many times when it can be much hotter depending on the class and time of day you go. I like the practice, it is strong and I liked the challenge. I find hot flow yoga to be hard but Bikram is pose to pose very little flow which I liked in the heat. There are 20 second shavasanas that add a good mind aspect trying to slip into release in between floor poses. At times it felt like Colleen was an auctioneer, so quick and concise I could tell those around me knew exactly what was coming highlighting the repetition of the practice. To me this practice has flaws, to only practice the same 26 poses in my opinion is limiting, when there are thousands, plus endless ways to move your body. I believe that repetition like this can cause stress on the body and leave other areas of the body untouched, especially if there are any miss alignments which in my experience there always is. I also found some of the cues to be interesting as they encourage students to move to a place of pain and hurt, this is so different from my training. Lock your knees… my teacher would not be happy with me if I were using this cue and telling my students to move to a place of painful stretch, yet in the change room (shared shower, new for me) the ladies spoke of how this has been the safest practice for them. Many of the ladies told me of injuries they experienced in other styles of yoga and have felt the safest in Bikram. This practice leaves out so many fabulous poses, headstand, handstand, shoulder stand, many back bends, arm balances, balance postures, there is an advanced series but most people will not achieve this so they will miss out on exposure to so many wonderful possibilities. Having said that I really enjoyed my experience and will absolutely be back to see Colleen, in fact I am trying Bikram at the Cove as a part of this tour. I think that playing with different styles and sequences is great, so for me to add this to my current routine is a nice addition, if you have only ever done Bikram I encourage you to add another yoga class into your repertoire just to switch it up!
Say YES! Lucas is a fabulous teacher who joined the Vernon community not that long ago from Vancouver and I took his class at Alba Healing Arts. I had done a workshop with him before and knew I liked his style, very alignment based with something to say. He is highly educated in the philosophy of yoga and has a lot to teach. This particular class he talked about the idea of being more vigilant and finding more acceptance. Starting by saying yes, even in the simplest situations for example when you stub your toe the simple act of saying yes and accepting can shift the entire experience. He then asked what posses are our no poses, the ones that cause our body to tense when mentioned or that we would skip in a home practice, mine is Parivrtta Trikonasana (revolved triangle) it’s hard. Well obviously we worked all the poses that were no poses for the class into the practice, and it was fun. Just to change the perspective of the experience and say yes this is where I am at, what I am doing, and it is perfect the way it is. What do you know I actually enjoyed upward bow and revolved triangle two poses that in most classes do not excite me. It is amazing the quality of teachers we have in the area, make a point of checking out Lucas’s class you will learn from him.
I am lucky enough to teach at Globe Fitness, sometime in gyms the yoga can be, well let’s just say it not great. The qualification to teach at a gym are generally less than those to teach at a studio and sometime you get what you pay for. Having said that there are gyms that provide quality yoga never be shy to ask about a teachers training and qualifications you are trusting them with your body and mind. Anyway Global Fitness is owned by a certified Iyengar instructor Darcia, and she has worked hard to develop a strong yoga presence at the gym. I have been meaning to go to her class for a while now, not wanting to miss the chance to work with a teacher with so much knowledge. I found myself in Darcia’s advanced class. There is not much of a flow, we moved from pose to pose taking our time and getting the alignment as accurate as possible going deeper and deeper into the pose. I would say I had not seen or done almost half the poses we did that morning! My love is the power flow or it was, but I am feeling a shift towards longer holds and time to really explore the poses to see where my body can go and where it is getting stuck. The flow lights up my heart but you are on to the next before you can fully evaluate all the edges of the pose. Dacia showed me many details that are not taught in most classes as the majority of people cannot easily access them and to get all the details integrated means a slower practice. As the name advanced says slower does not mean easier, the poses are deep but there are many “bus stops” Darcia welcomes you to get off the yoga bus at any point. Come visit us at Global Fitness, drop ins are welcome, I call it a hidden gem as they have a great thing going on, awesome prices, yet fly under the radar.
March 22, 23
My weekend was full as I was hosting a guest teacher from out of town, Clara Roberts-Oss. What a delight she was! Friday night practice was subtle body, what better way to explore your subtle body than to practice with your eyes closed. We started class by chanting and moved into a flow, we would do an entire sequence with eyes open and then do it again with eyes closed, I am not taking about seated poses we were doing an actual flow, warriors, balancing half moon, lunges closing your eyes adds a whole new dynamic. The practice was beautiful, Clara’s energy is grounded and she is confident in what she has to offer, I felt very secure exploring new aspects of the practice. We worked with the chakras and the pranayama and chanting. All woven together in and around a flow practice. I often encourage my man to join me in these events and usually tell him it won’t be hard, I do not know why he still believes that. I did not think subtle body would be much of a physical practice but as a wonderful surprise it was, we moved and explored the edges in a flow, closing the eyes makes movement more challenging and requires more cohesion of the body. By the end of practice we had slowed it down, used the breath to sweep away any floating tension and had a blissful shavasana that is the beauty of a 2 hour practice the gift of time. The good times continued with Clara on Saturday morning for an energetic flow, great sequencing. In the afternoon Clara gave us her secrets to sequencing and left us with a blue print to develop wonderful sequences that will keep students in the flow but allow the teacher to remember the sequence and build the most beneficial class possible addressing the needs of the class.
Sunday I taught family yoga followed by brunch, it was a blast so much fun with the families young and old with a fabulous buffet!! Yet that meant I missed Clara’s lovely hips flow. I had intentions to have a home practice Sunday as Clara and I were going for a hike in the afternoon and there were no studio classes when I was free. Plus after the weekend I just wanted to retreat to my home, spend some time with my man and my puppy. By the time I wrapped up all the details from the weekend events and had dinner I did not have it in me for a practice. I am sure that some restorative postures would have done me good but my bed was calling my name. Sometimes you just have to listen to the body and nothing compares to a good night’s sleep.