A First Attempt at Pranayama

by anneihilate

This morning, Abbey and I went to a 6:30 hot Hatha yoga class to help our bodies recuperate from yesterday’s aerial core class. Yesterday, I didn’t think my core got very much of a workout, but today, I am definitely feeling that ache you get from a challenging workout. The exercises we did yesterday feel like they really got down into some lesser used muscles in my upper abs and rib cage. My arms and legs have also got a bit of an ache in them too. I will definitely be trying that class again when I get a chance.

Today’s class was quite different from other yoga classes I have been to. It focused a lot on different kinds of twists, which I often struggle with, particularly seated spinal twists or any other twists where you’re elbow presses against the outside of the opposite knee. I really hate that feeling of my inner elbow rubbing against another bone. Once I got past that unpleasant sensation though, my lower back and glutes really appreciated the theme of the class. We also did some Pranayama breathing, which I had never done before today. The teacher had us seal our right nostril with our right thumb, and inhale through the left nostril for five counts, then seal the left nostril with our right ring finger, and exhale through the right nostril for five counts. Then we would inhale through the right nostril for five counts with the left nostril still sealed, then seal the right nostril with the right thumb and exhale through the left nostril for five counts. We went back and forth between the two nostrils for several breaths, which was good because it took me a little while to understand the motion we were doing. According to our instructor, Pranayama breathing is supposed to be very good for relieving stress and anxiety, so I’ll definitely have to experiment with that in the future. I have a lot of trouble with breathing exercises in a group, because I feel like I have, like, no lung capacity compared to the rest of the people in class. Not that I can tell really, but it seems like the instructor tries to get us to inhale and exhale far more air than my lungs are capable of. At the end of class, I was so relaxed I’m pretty sure I almost fell asleep during our savasna. I remember kind of feeling like I was dreaming but could still hear everyone breathing around me. It’s always such a bummer when the instructor tells you that it’s time to to start waking your body up and return to a seated position. It makes me wish I could do some yoga before I go to sleep, ending with savasana in my bed, so that I wouldn’t have to get up from it again. I have a lot of trouble practicing yoga on my own, based on my my experience with P90X’s Yoga X, or Jillian Michael’s Yoga Meltdown. Their focus is different from that of the yoga classes we do at a studio, and I find it a lot easier to hold difficult poses when there are other people around me struggling with the same thing. Yeah, team work!

One of my potential plans of action for September is to enroll in some sort of hollistic nutrition program. I’m waiting for Erik (the boyfriend) to finish his program so that we can do some traveling together, but I can’t stand the idea of sitting on my ass for the year. I know from past experience how bummed out I can get when I’m not busy enough. The main requirement for the program I’m looking at requires a 2-page autobiography about yourself including an explanation of why you want to be a nutritionist. I started working on this last night, but I worry a bit that my writing was too blah, or too pretentious. I’m going to try to keep working on it tonight, and maybe have Erik review it for me. He’s a really good writer, and he’s known me for long enough that he has a real knack for helping me condense my ideas down and be more concise. Last year, when I was applying for a job at another business, he was a great help when I was rehearsing my answers for interview questions and told me that if I kept the ideas and points I wanted to touch on more general in my mind, I would be able to elaborate on them in the interview in a more natural sounding way. Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked, but the point is he’s awesome. 🙂 I’m going to try to keep working on the autobiography (even the word autobiography sounds a little pretentious) tonight, and hopefully I’ll have something I can send out before I go on vacation tomorrow.

Abbey and I are going to Erik’s cottage with him and his family for a week, where I know there will be many a naughty treat, but I’m bringing a ton of workout gear, so hopefully Erik and Abbey will help encourage me to stay on track. So I’ll be spending the evening doing some packing and last minute errands before we leave, and on another happy note, Erik is taking me out for my birthday dinner tonight at this awesome vegan and raw restaurant the recently opened up near my house.

Once again, I’m at work, and I should probably get going before I get busted. Be back in a week or so!