Yoga with a name and other illusions

I've practiced yoga off and on for over two decades now. It started when I was twelve.

Dad taught me a brief series of postures and I hated the achy stretchy feeling I was left with. Years later, the actual physical balance and subsequent mental calm were more valuable than moments of discomfort.

Which is why my encounter with a seasoned Yogi last week had me shocked. The man started off with what I was convinced, were awfully simple exercises. I'd done more right?

The camel pose? The side plank? The crane? huh? They're mid-level difficult right?

Well, single-leg rotations at 30 degrees and 90 degrees are okay. 15 times clockwise and anti clockwise may be taking it up a notch. Then of course, come double leg rotations. We're talking all the way - legs going all the way to the right, top, left, bottom without touching the floor - and up again. Together. Of course, vanity demands that I stay elegant and pretend like I'm juuuust fine! Yeah baby. 15 of those too.

Some exercises seemed nearly juvenile initially. But repeat them ten times with breath and boy do you feel your insides just burning! Think Pavan Muktasana is, well, full of air? He just combined it with a full sit up while still hugging the knees. Sends shivers down your lumbar spine but you stop thinking of an asana in simplistic terms.

I've decided NOT to talk about Hatha-Vinyasa (my preferred style along with a mix of my own making) or any asana like I am a practitioner worth my salt.

Which I am most certainly not by the look of things!

I lost weight though. About 5 pounds in 2 weeks which I did not expect.

I'll be focusing on strength training from now on. The low back, belly and knees took the worst beating.

 I'll dance through poses much later.

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