The past couple of days, the windchill has been negative let’s-not-even-talk-about-how-many degrees, so I’ve turned to the yoga mat rather than risk frostbite while running. Normally I head to the fast flow or advanced classes to push my muscles to the limit, but this week I got back to basics at foundation and slow flow classes.
Before shoveling Indian food into my face for dinner yesterday, I went to a beginner class at my studio that I’d never been to before. Probably because it starts at 4:30 p.m. and I have to hustle out of work to make it. The class breaks down fundamental poses. It’s not taught as a flow—the point is to find proper form and alignment to take into more advanced vinyasa classes later.
Side crow. That’s the arm balance in the GIF above if you’re unfamiliar with it. It was also the focus of my foundation class. The instructor broke down the pose step by step, starting with wrists and hands, then transitioning into elbows and arms till liftoff.
To ease into the full balance, we used straps and blocks for assistance at first. Then we tried without the props. Our yoga guru told us to “be brave little turtles” and keep our necks out rather than look down and curl inward—and it worked!
Pretty much my reaction when I pulled off the arm balance, no problem. Whenever I attempt side crow in flow classes, I try to mimic the teacher’s positioning, but something’s usually wonky. I just don’t have enough time to learn how to fix it before transitioning into the next pose. This in-depth breakdown was so helpful, and I definitely want to hit up more foundation classes to master other poses that challenge me. (Hello, headstand.)
Today’s class was a super stretchy and slow flow, and I brought a newbie friend along with a guest pass! Such a good perk of being a member. Lots of shoulder and hip opening, nothing too challenging, but it was the perfect antidote to a busy day at work.
YOUR TURN: What yoga poses are you proud of conquering?