This weekend was my first yoga class since college. As part of the hippie aesthetic that I cultivated during the earliest days of my twenties and the fact that yoga classes were free at UCSC, I decided to figure out what all the fuss was about.
I always liked yoga, but I never got quite as into it as some of the other students. As a matter of fact, the level of “into it” of some of my classmates contributed to my eventual abandoning of yoga for dance classes. Dance was not as relaxing, but at least no one approached the instructor after class to tell her they’d reached a “higher level” during pliés.
Anyway, yoga in college was hatha yoga. It was very meditative and we spent a lot of time in each posture, exploring all the things the body did in a given pose. Our studio space overlooked Monterey Bay, and in the spring we’d keep the windows open. I always left class with a sort of high, which lasted through most of my Oceanography class and is probably why I did so well.
Fast forward to 2008. There’s a yoga studio two blocks from my house and I walk by it every day seeing people entering and leaving with mats slung over their shoulders and I start remembering the breeze off Monterey Bay, and I think why not? So I do some research and I find out that
a) Yoga studio offers free classes for beginners a couple of times a week and you can go as much as you like; and
b) Classes during the weekday are only $8!
Hello, new yoga studio.
Now is the appropriate time for me to reveal that this is a Core Power Yoga studio. Emphasis on the “power.” I talked to a few friends who’ve taken classes there and it’s more yogaerobics – think bicycle sit-ups – than exploring postures. Still, who am I to argue when it’s free? Power yoga, here I come.
I tried out the free class on Saturday. Besides the free class, I was also plied with a free mat rental and a free week of unlimited yoga. Hooray for free! Hooray for yoga!
So there’s no bay view. And we learned poses that we then put together – they’re supposed to “flow,” but I admit to stumbling through a few of the transitions – rather than exploring one for a long time. And I have not sweated that much possibly ever. But it was fun, and it felt good to locate and use some muscles that I have been neglecting.
There was no Oceanography class immediately after, but yoga class did affect the rest of my day. Witness:
Phase one in which I decide that having lasted through an entire hour of power yoga, I am super woman. So I decide to walk the several miles to the yarn store to get yarn for a project. This leads to
Phase two, in which I admit that I should have eaten something before I left the house. Kind of shaky and spacey, I buy the yarn and head home. I have to stop by the grocery store because I am out of toilet paper. So I go to Wild Oats and find myself in
Phase three. Totally ravenous, I have to stop myself from buying everything in the store. I end up getting some things I need (eggs, olive oil, bread) plus a frozen pizza for lunch. Go home, eat the entire pizza and am almost asleep on the couch (I guess that’s phase four) when I realize I didn’t actually buy the toilet paper.
By the time I got the toilet paper and came home, I was totally wiped. I spent the rest of the afternoon alternately knitting, reading a page or two of The Terror Dream and texting Dan. I think I fell asleep before 9:30 and slept straight through till 9 a.m. So now I am kind of sore but I just realized I did not smoke a single cigarette yesterday. I don’t think I even wanted one until later in the evening, and by then I was to sleepy to get off the couch and smoke. That’s kind of cool.