a snowy night of Ashtanga yoga

January 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

With all the snow today, this would have been one of those nights the old me would have said the conditions weren’t so great out for going to yoga and were much better for staying in and opening a bottle of wine. But look how warm & inviting the Yoga Workshop studio looked as I walked up and it was nice and toasty inside.

Tonight I took a beginner Ashtanga Vinyasa class. As with many things, yoga has been reinterpreted in so many ways and in the US has even become another power fitness aerobics class at certain studios.  To each his own I guess. So be it.

What I liked about the Yoga Workshop was that it’s focused on teaching the craft of yoga. They probably wouldn’t describe it that way, but I like thinking about it as a craft. It’s kind of cool because Richard Freeman who started this studio 20 years ago, was one of the first Western teachers to be certified under a key influential yogi, K. Pattahbi Jois who learned under Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, a teacher of many modern forms of yoga. That may sound meaningless, but what it means is that in the eyes of true Indian yoga, this American is legit in terms of understanding the result of thousands of years of yoga. And he teaches here in Boulder.

This class reminded me a lot of my downhill skiing lesson last week. I could feel myself wanting to just go and get going with it, but the instructor took it slow and focused on making sure we understood each pose and focused on the alignment of it. I did not sweat as much as I’m used to but I did notice my balance and focus was much better than normal. This felt like a studio where I could really learn yoga from the ground up in a way that would feel like I was doing it right instead of just getting a workout.

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