DC Yoga Week : Obliterated & Empowered

In the middle of our attempts to follow instructions and master some variation of flying side-crow (the name escapes me, as does fluency in Sanskrit), a look around the studio would reveal either frustration or pure shock and somehow-I’m-in-the-air! balance. A genuine effort told me that my shoulder wasn’t quite up for hooking under my knee, or letting my leg rest on it; my triceps weren’t quite up for the challenge of holding my entire body weight. Ego: What, like it’s hard?

The Buddha B teacher’s demo made it seem too simple, as usual, but she was quick to remind us of one constant cycle that keeps our minds in the {yoga} game – “Our egos are obliterated, and then in turn, empowered.” We can’t quite grasp the muscle action + mindful instruction to master one pose, but may be completely surprised as we smoothly move into something else.

My ego was silenced and exhausted by more than one suggested pose that night. It happens. Obliterated.

—–

rolled yoga matyoga mat strap

Sunday night I put all preconceived grudges aside and joined Shauna for a hot yoga class at Studio DC. Ryan’s sessions never disappoint; my legs were tired and tight, and ending the weekend with 75 minutes of sweating it out enticed me.

With a mat-towel, face towel and water bottle full of ice, I was all set to survive the grueling minutes of “90-100*” heat. Our muscles were stretched, twisted and challenged in every way, and the time elapsed way too quickly. Who is this ego, enjoying sweat-dripping muscle-shaking hot yoga? I like you…

Eventually we got some inversion “play-time” on the wall (my fave!), and I went straight for the usual – kick-up into hand-stands. The first attempt let out a thud as my heels hit the wall – grace hadn’t joined the party yet. Subsequently, I engaged every muscle I could connect to and took it slowly. Eventually, I kicked and didn’t hit the wall, but found myself balancing in the air.

Ego: Yes, this is all you. Hold on tightly! Balance.

With that dose of empowerment, I attempted forearm headstand for the 101st time. I can hold a tri-pod headstand with no issue, but the former version constantly defeats me. The wall behind me held promise; if nothing else, I’ll rest my legs against that and just try to figure this out, muscle by muscle.

All set in the awkward (to me) form, I slowly kicked up…and held it. No wall support, or heel-hitting – my core immediately reacted, engaged, and held everything in place. Hello! This works!

That feeling of a challenge grasped, and victory achieved? That’s bliss.

Savansana has never felt so sweet. Ego: empowered.

——

This is DC Yoga Week, and a great opportunity to gauge which studios are worth your ego’s investment. The list of participating studios is long, but surprisingly not all-encompassing. We all workout on a budget, and things like this make it possible for people to branch out and see if this is something they’re ready to buy into. Check out the list of FREE & $5 classes – try something new!

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9 Comments

Filed under challenges, DC, Yoga

9 responses to “DC Yoga Week : Obliterated & Empowered

  1. man i wish i was in DC this week! i could use some heather and yoga time!

  2. Congrats on the forearm headstand! I think I need to practice more yoga!

  3. I find hot yoga to be the most humbling experience of my week – I have to mentally gear myself up to go! Someday I’ll get to a headstand – I’ll stick with shoulder stands for now! 😉

  4. If I enjoy a sweaty spin class I’d be all over hot yoga. You really make me want to get back into classes. I think it truly helps center you and negate all that outside noise.

    You always make me feel empowered!

  5. As if last night’s conversation wasn’t enough, I’m thoroughly convinced to try Studio DC now. Also, grace never joins my yoga party.

  6. Sounds awesome. I love that you are always challenging yourself. Who knows what you’ll conquer next!

  7. I’m getting better at forearm hand stand (against the wall) and not hitting the wall before balancing. Just can’t get myself to trust doing it in the middle of the room. It’s a fun thing to work on, that’s for sure.

  8. Emily

    So I think I might actually use my work wellness benefit to do a pass to Studio DC. Would you brave more hot yoga with me? I think it could only do good things for my broken body…

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