Friday, May 21, 2010

Lunchtime Yoga

In the summer, the pace of the office slows down for a few weeks.  Students lazily trickle in and out, staff members and faculty are often absent, and everybody just relaxes for a while.  (Then orientation starts, which is fast and furious for a month, then calms back down again).

The HPER offers a few classes at lunchtime, so I wanted to take advantage of the relaxed atmosphere to escape for a class.  Today, the schedule showed "Core Yoga" taught by Tracy, described as "A mix of practical pilates and yoga.  Starting with breath work, stretching, pilates, sun salutations, arm balances, and inversions."  Okay, that doesn't sound so bad.  Also, I keep hearing how a strong core makes one a better runner, so core strengthening is always a good thing.

I quickly changed and walked quickly down to the gym.  The sun was out, so it was a lovely walk.  The class had maybe eight to ten people, so it was nice and small.  We grabbed mats and waited for the instructor to arrive, who came breezing in, loud and full of energy.  I tried to keep an open mind and not make any judgments until the class started, but I was afraid she'd be a bit obnoxious.

I was wrong, luckily.  She was loud, but only at moments where a little extra energy was helpful.  When a pose got more difficult, her energetic cries to keep going made me laugh a little, distracting me from how hard I was working.  The class was a good environment and not at all intimidating for novices--the instructor made sure to tell us to "listen to our bodies."

My only complaint is that she didn't give a lot of modifications--I knew a few because I've done enough yoga to know, but there was one student who was having a hard time and could have benefited from modifications or direct assistance.  The instructor didn't really walk around and help anyone who was struggling, which I'm not really used to, especially in a small class.  The class was also fast-paced, so she may not have felt there was enough time to assist anyone directly.

The class flew by quickly, and I felt that I got a good arm and abs workout as well as a stretch.  In fact, I felt stretched enough that I wanted to go run because running after yoga always feels really good.  It was definitely more of a pilates/strength training class that it was a purely yoga class--we didn't hold the poses as long as I'd like to really relax and stretch out the muscles--but I still liked it.  I may have to try it again!

I'll leave you with a picture of the birthday treat I brought for my co-worker, which enjoyed after lunch:
Berry shortcake!  The cream was freshly whipped in the office (though whipping was a bitch after all the arm work I did shortly beforehand--feel the shoulder BURN).  We picked the wild blackberries from southern Arkansas, and the strawberries were from Lance's garden.  Delicious!

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