Thursday, June 9, 2011

Slow & steady wins the race?

After a 3-month dry spell since my last class experience, this week I managed to get to not one but two yoga classes!

Neither class was any one particular style, but both were quite different from my usual Ashtanga-based practice.   The first class was a 2-hour intermediate class.  It wasn't exactly Iyengar, but definitely Iyengar-inspired.  The class began with a 15-minute free period to practice any poses we wanted and get personalised instruction, and also to practice headstand/handstand/arm balances, which weren't included in the rest of the class.  Interesting!  I have to say that I am more of an inversions-at-the-end-of-practice kind of girl, but that is usually for my morning practice.  For an evening class, I can kind of see the logic of starting off with something strong and energising like a handstand - although headstand without warming up, I'm not so sure about.  Thoughts, anyone?

The rest of the class was a slow-paced flow through some standard & challenging standing poses including a new variation of a balancing downward-facing dog, and a nice long seated session.  The teacher was present and open and gave me some nice tips on alignment and keeping my bandhas.

Tonight's class was a hatha class with quite a bit of strengthening work (I'm feeling my triceps already...) and some slow ayurvedic flow sequences (if anyone is familiar with Mukunda Stiles, the teacher studied yoga therapy with him - lucky!).

Both of these are a radical departure from my usual practice.  But they say that the universe provides you not with what you want, but with what you need (I think the Rolling Stones said it best actually!).  So maybe this is a sign for me to slow down and work more seriously on my technique - at least a few times a week!  Or... considering that those two classes set me back 18 pounds - a whopping 30 US dollars... maybe a few times a month!


  1. Sivanada Yoga starts with headstand, which I find rather alarming.

    Is Milan Stiles any relation of Mukunda Stiles who I studied yoga therapy with?

    And yeah £8-10 a class is pretty average here too. More in London (I used to charge £12 for dropin in London). I put it down to alarmingly high room rental prices

  2. Yes! Mukunda Stiles! I knew I was getting part of that wrong! Going back to edit my post now...

    You studied with him too? How awesome. My Mum has just spent a whole year practising his ayurvedic flows exclusively.