During this last session, I started remembering prior issues from earlier classes. In this post, I will call them "my do's and don'ts" of yoga. Things that one must know before embarking on this adventure. I guess the first "do or don't", depending on how you look at it, is this... arrive late. If you arrive early, your yoga guru will MAKE you go to the front. I attend this session with my friend, Barbara, whom I've known for many, many years. Barbara is a rule follower and a pleaser. She is also always on time. This has been a problem between us for many years. As a result of her time issue, she always arrives before I and gets our place ready for the torture...side by side in the front row. In previous classes, I managed to get a spot in the back; that's where I like it. Fortunately, there aren't many in our class, and certainly no guys, so it isn't that bad being in the front row.
Another "do" is listen. This can be tough for those of us who are visual learners. Something happens to me when I can't see the pose because I'm on the floor and she is calling out directions. Clasping hands under our knees or putting our arms between our knees to push them apart is hard for me to process. It kinda reminds me of that dreaded yearly visit to the gyno.
Closely related to listening is another "do"...know your right from your left. Seems simple enough. But when she starts giving directions of the next pose, you have got to be able to locate the body part she is telling you to use and put it where she tells you to. Processing is important here. Here's an example from today's class. We are on our mats, lying on our backs,
looking at the ceiling, and she tells us to pull our knees up to our chest.
Then she tells us to extend our left arm to the left, straighten our left leg, ground our heel, use our right hand to lower our right leg to the right, while using our right arm to create resistence. Here's another one. Lying on our back, bend our knees, keep our feet flat on the mat, take our right leg and cross it over the left knee then roll to the left keeping our shoulders on the mat, extending our arms to the sides. Then cross our legs the other way. Be sure and inhale as we bring our legs up and exhale as we roll to the side. Breathing is important in yoga. It's a definite "do."
Here's a "don't." Don't look at others in the class. Now it's kinda hard not to look when there are mirrors on two of the walls. But you must keep your eyes straight ahead, on the ceiling, or on the floor. Never look at another person in the class. Rude. Sometimes I sneak a peek, just to see if my leg is higher that the woman behind me. So that's about it. When the clock strikes 3:45, it's time to roll up our mats,
fold our blankets,
place the blocks on the shelf,
and get a Coke.Now that's a "do."