NYC Fitness & Yoga Pass Book Adventures

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Bodhisattva Yoga

URL: Bodhisattva Yoga
Location: Park Slope

Hello Ladies and Ladies,
This marks my foray into your blissful world of Yoga. I went for my very first classes this past week--I tried out four classes and three different instructors, one of whom is a keeper. If you live in Park Slope and are a beginner, Saturday afternoon yoga from 12-1:30 with Kelly is for you! The other two instructors can go straight to hell.


In case my mother or those instructors ever read this, I feel obligated to say that I don't mean to malign. I'm merely using the instructors to juxtapose harsh urban sensibility with the peacefullness of yoga. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I had much bliss with either of them, tho. Thankfully, my first class was with Kelly--it was all about flow and relaxation, and it was challenging, but I didn't die. We'll cover more about her later so I can end on a happy note. In the meantime, let's go over Breakfast and Basics/Open.

Breakfast Yoga
Yoga for breakfast + no actual food = I'm screwed

My second attempt at Bodhisattva Yoga was an "Open" session at 7 am. I had no idea what "Open" meant. As it turns out, it means you can come as a beginner, but you're going to severely regret it because they'll move through poses so quickly you'll be lost. Also, as one with low blood sugar, I should never have attempted exercising without at least eating a banana first. I nearly passed out by the end of the hour session.

And, I was a little annoyed by the instructor, who kept saying things like, "Don't be frustrated, Karen" and "Everyone do this , Karen--hold that pose and catch up later." It's so great being called out when you suck. I was also annoyed by how he would demonstrate a pose, and then make some motion indicating that we could come out of the pose as we liked saying, "Yogi's choice." Hmm. thanks for giving me a choice when the choice is TOTALLY inconsequential!! The pose is what counts, not so much what comes after when it's just getting up off the floor. If that's all yogi's choice turns out to be, I'm not so interested.

Basics/Open Thurs. Night
Headstands, Fear and Empathy

So, I tried a third instructor. Hmm. I wasn't thrilled. But then again, I did start out the class in a very bad mental space--I knew that I was going to break up with someone afterwards. I went because I was hoping it would calm me down beforehand, but no such luck. First off, the instructor had an overly loud voice considering the space and the fact that there were only six of us in the class. Secondly, she put on music at one point that had a rock beat--NOT relaxing! Thirdly, she wanted us to practice L-shaped headstands, and I instantly knew I didn't want to do it. I told her so, rather more vehemently than I intended. She tried to spot me; I skidded down the wall. I was a disaster. The woman next to me said, "Oh, you just need to build up your confidence." THANKS, lady!!!

I wanted to cry--cry about the breakup, and cry about my fear of headstands. Actually, my fear of doing the headstand gave me a moment of clarity about the breakup--I realized that the person I had been with was someone who was stuck in the same mode of fear I had just been in, except that she feared relationships and I feared breaking my neck. I felt myself empathizing with her at the same time knowing that the end of our relationship was necessary. Going to the class oddly ended up helping me in some strange way to communicate better with her, even as we parted. As with yoga, so with life. Hmm. Still, heck if I'm going back to this class!

Basics/Open Saturday
Goga for Yoga!

This class is great. Importantly, I'm not the least flexible person there, although it's close. I know we're all supposed to be on our own journeys and whatnot, but I sure feel better knowing I'm not alone in my lack of skill. (OK, OK...I realize this is something I need to get over.) Plus, it's a nice small group of cute girls. Works for me! And, as I mentioned earlier, the instructor, Kelly, is great. She has a nice voice, is calm and soothing, reminds us to put our difficult times behind us, and tells us to honor ourselves just for practicing. This is EXACTLY what I was hoping for in a yoga class! Perhaps Nirvana will someday be mine...and hopefully yours.

I can't wait for further adventures, next time with you gals. And now with sincerity:



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