Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Exercise: Yoga!

A proud moment!  That's me doing a headstand this morning.

The alarm went off at 4:45 AM.  This is the first of three alarms and the most gentle - it's a soft wind chime.  At 4:55 AM the buzzing alarm went off.  I hit the snooze button.  At 5:05 AM comes the heavy artillery sounds - a very loud, fog horn type of noise.  If it's Wednesday morning it's 6:30 AM yoga with Jason.  I have to get up so early to leave time to walk Hubbell and make the 14 block trek to the Y.  I arrive just as class is starting.

That's 6:30 AM!

I've been practicing yoga for a few years now.  It doesn't come naturally to me.  If it weren't for Jason, the best yogi on the planet, I might have given up.  But he motivates me.  Before I started practicing yoga, I thought it probably wasn't much of a workout.  I mean, it's just poses, right?  Wrong!  This is power yoga and it's an intense work out.  You'd think that at 6:30 AM we might be given a break.  No.  Jason kicks our collective asses regardless of the ungodly hour.  But, that's what I'm there for.  It's hard to describe but I'm starting to feel as if my core is holding me up, rather than my arms or legs, particularly in plank and even downward dog (Hubbell's favorite).  At first I didn't think about lifting from the core at all.

Quick, Jason!  Take a picture!

This morning was a watershed moment, for me anyway.  I did a headstand without Jason's help.  Headstands scared me to death and Jason would have to help me up and hold me there - which he has patiently been doing for a few weeks now.  Before I would settle for shoulder stand.  The point is to spend some time upside down to get the blood flowing.  It's a great thing to do early in the morning. Really!

A less than stellar shoulder stand - that's me last summer on the purple mat.

My next goal is to do the headstand away from the wall - but I'm taking baby steps!  I have a lot of other poses that need serious work, too, but at least I am progressing, ever so slowly. What's great about Jason is that he never judges or gets impatient.  He doesn't even get annoyed when I sneak out of class a few minutes early to make Spin at 7:15.

If you live in NYC or plan to visit you should try to take a class from Jason (he also is a superb massage therapist).  Here's his website:


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