Thursday, February 14, 2013

50 Shades of Yoga

Happy Valentine's Day my Lovelies and Gents,

Well I had this wonderful post planned for today. Yesterday I participated in a webinar on a "Healthy Heart".  I figured it would be good timing and I have lots to share from it, but then Yoga happened today and there is much to talk about from it.

It was a smaller group today. We had 6 people: 5 gals and 1 new gent. Plus we had Richard the Instructor. So let me put into context that Ms. Tracey was there and she is a towering 6' plus.  The rest of us ladies are in the 5'-5'3" range. And all of the ladies are on the "tinier than me" scale.

So we started off sitting in a circle with our legs crossed and our knees touching each other. Then we reached out our arms to grab the shoulders of those sitting next to us. We focused on leaning to the right while inhaling and then exhaling while returning to center. And then following on the left side.  Sounds simple enough, but I could really feel the pull in my left hip, which is in alignment with my messed up and super tight right shoulder.

We bent our knees in front of us, held hands, and as a group balanced on our bottoms. Then the rocked back with our breathing and then back up on to our butts. We did this several times until we were to rock back up to a standing position. I gotta be honest. I truly envisioned myself not being able to do it and pull everyone down because we were all linked. I am happy to report that we did it though.

Once we were standing there was some balancing on each leg. We would lean forward with one leg behind us and and let go of each other. If we felt like our back leg was falling we were to grab a hand instead of letting the foot fall to the ground. I really have a hard time with this. My left knee is just so bad and weak that I have difficulty balancing on that leg.

And then the fun stuff really started. While still in the circle we turned to the right and massaged each others shoulders. Then we turned to the left and massaged the spines. Ahhhh....

Time to partner up. The first person would get down on the floor in the push up position. The second person would stand behind them and lift their feet. Person one would be holding themselves up by their arms. Then the second person would let go of one of the feet and the first person will keep holding their legs up.

Did I panic? A little. Did I do it? You betcha!

And then things got Cray Cray!  Did he just say that we are going to plank on top of each other? Hold the phones!  Did he just say were are going to plank on top of each other 3 people high? WHAT?  I will crush these poor girls.   So first he had the other guy as the base of the pile. And then Ms. Tracey got on. And then another girl. I wish I had my camera.

Next up he was the base with the other two girls. I was silently freaking out. There was no way I could climb on any of these girls without taking them down. And so I said I wanted to be the base. He asked if my core was strong enough. Hell yeah it is!  And so I was base. I have no idea which girls planked on top, but yeah, I did it!

I was on top of the world!  Which was appropriate because the next position was the Titanic. We did this last year. The person in front stands with their feet hips length apart. The person behind plants one foot back and one foot forward. The person in front reaches back grabbing the forearms and then leans forward like they are king/queen of the world.

I am great as the person pulling back the king/queen. I have a really hard time being the queen though. The times that I have done it I have been the heavier of the two. I don't know if I would feel more comfortable with someone heavier than me. Someone that I felt for sure would not move because of my weight. It may be that I have just as hard of a time.

Next we faced each other, crossed hands, and held one. And then we leaned back in to the seated position. Once seated we would release one hand and reach back. Then we switched hands.  That was the easy part. We grabbed forearms again and held on as we lowered ourselves into the seated position.

We uncrossed our hands, but still held each others forearms. Our legs were bent in front of us and this is where it started to get challenging. We started with my left leg and her right. We pushed our feet together and up into the air straightening the legs. Still holding arms we did the same with the other legs. So now we were balancing on our bottoms with our legs raised in the air and holding on to each other. As if that wasn't enough, we then lowered one the legs and pushed them out to the side...still holding arms and balancing on our bottoms. We Rocked it!

One of the ladies next to us was saying that she was having a hard time grasping hands. Could we tie our hands together? The instructor said that sometimes they do use scarves or ties for this position. this 50 Shades of Yoga?

Next up was to stand up and stand back to back. We would take turns bending over and lifting the other person on to our backs.  I went first and felt like I could lift her all day long.  When it was her turn to lift me I started to panic. I honestly wasn't sure that she could. For some reason my feet weren't lifting off of the ground when she bent over. Perhaps my back is just super bendy. Eventually one of the guys lifted me up and my back cracked....ahh. That felt good.

Time to relax. We were sent back to our mats in pairs. One person would lay on their belly with their arms by their sides. The other person would stand at their feet and "Penguin walk" the heels of their hands up the legs, skip over the bottom, and then "Penguin walk" them up the back. And then they would kneel into the bottom and pull the person's arms back so far that their chest would rise off of the floor.

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY TO ME!  Seriously, I told Glenda that I felt like I should buy her lunch or send her flowers after that. I felt so good. I was happy to return the favor.

This may be my most favorite yoga class of all time. It was also one of the hardest for me.  Mentally I was put through the ringer.

Just the thought of relying on any of this ladies to hold me up was pure terror for me. I kept thinking that they were mentally screaming "NO I WANT ANOTHER PARTNER! She's going to squish me!"  I did not think these ladies could hold my weight. I am solid. I have a good 30-40 lbs on them. And that's when it hit me...I am not 200 lbs anymore, but that's how heavy I was feeling. I didn't give these ladies enough credit. They are strong. They are capable. I am smaller than I used to be, but for some reason this class takes me right back to that old weight.

This class was a big lesson in trust. I do have a hard time trusting others, but I also have a hard time trusting myself. It's time to let go and fully believe in myself.

*please note, the pictures attached are not from class, but rather I found them online and am using them as an example of what we did

Have a Blessed Night.

Don't forget my Fundraising for Autism Research:

****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you! Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week. The journey is so much easier if you have support.

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