One of my goals during my ten-day holiday break was to check out a yoga class or two at New York Sports Club, the gym I belong to. So last Thursday night I attended the Iyengar Yoga class. I had no idea what Iyengar is, involves or likes for dinner.
According to the club's website:
Iyengar Yoga focuses on the subtleties of each posture. Postures are held much longer so that students can focus on their precise muscular and skeletal alignment.
Other than standing in line at Fairway, I really don't know much about alignment. So, the class description sounded great.
Upon showing up to class, I explained to the instructor that I suffer from carpal tunnel, making downward dogs really painful for me. The instructor said we wouldn't be doing any down dogs. Instead, the class would focus on the back.
I've exercised at NYSC for ten years. I usually use the treadmill, stationary bike or jump rope as well as strength train with free weights. I've always been happy with the gym. However, my yoga experience at the club was dirty and cold. It was about 30 degrees outside and 30 inside. At one point I had to touch the back of my hand to my foot. It was like touching a corpse. I was freezing. Secondly, the studio is used by other classes that require people to wear shoes. Unlike yoga studios, which don't allow shoes to be worn, so are able to maintain some level of cleanliness. Basically I was lying on an icky, dirty floor.
The class spent some time on the bow pose. I probably looked nothing like the picture below. I imagine my bow looked more like a shivering, squashed banana covered in floor dirt. Nevertheless, I found the pose as well as class challenging and different. Two things I was looking for. Also, the class reminded me just how stiff I am.
The day after taking the class, my legs were incredibly sore. I saw this as a positive. So, my second class, although not exactly what I had in mind, has inspired me to give yoga another chance.