Wednesday, September 16, 2015

First Impressions of Flow Yoga

I showed up at YogaLife for Pilates class only to learn that the schedule was different for this week. Instead the class being offered was Flow with Alignment. The girl behind the counter said the class was ok for beginners to try, so I figured what the heck? I'm already here.

Since it was my first time taking this type of class, I thought I'd share my first impressions/thoughts:

1. When the instructor only speaks Chinese, DO NOT PANIC! It is easy (most of the time) to follow along by simply watching the instructor or the people near you. If you are really messing up, the instructor will come to you.

2. Flow starts off slow. I know this has something to do with breathing. Connecting with our breath. That sort of thing. We sat for what seemed like an extra long time, just breathing. This leads to #3.

3. Seated meditation poses are hard work. You would think that sitting down would be restful. Effortless. Not so much. For a beginner like me, sitting straight makes my back muscles tired.

4. Pay attention to the sequence of poses. We were shown poses in groups of 4-6. After moving through them slowly, the instructor would have us repeat the sequence multiply times at a faster (but comfortable) pace.

5. It's OK if you can't do ALL of the poses. Most people in the class collapse the pose or simply lay down at some point. For me the goal is to try everything. Then I can see if I'm improving at all later.

6. Be prepared to sweat, A LOT! Even when it's not hot yoga! Normally I find it annoying to have sweat dripping off my face, arms, and legs. But in a yoga class, sweating means your body is warm, your muscles are warm, and therefore ready to stretch and twist and reach...I like this feeling.

7. You are supposed to contract your muscles while posing. I did not know that! I know my muscles contract as I am moving, but when holding a pose, the instructor pointed to my quads and indicated that I should contract (at least I think that's what she meant. Yogis let me know if I misunderstood). And, it's not easy to do. Believe me, I tried to tighten that quad. It just didn't want to cooperate beyond what it was already doing.

Not my class, but photo from YogaLife website

Overall, I liked Flow Yoga and will probably go back when it fits in with my schedule. It was a good class for beginners to take.

Do you have a yoga class preference?
Give me your best beginner yoga advice...

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