Core Power Yoga

I'm not in the habit of blogging yet. This has nothing to do with photography. It's a post I made on Facebook. People engaged with this post more than many other posts... even some pretty cute puppy shots, so I hope you like it too. It's about something else I am passionate about... yoga, which has been central to my life since about 2010. I hope you enjoy reading it.

July 29, 2015 San Diego

IDK why, but I'm inspired to share today...

I'm on an indefinite Bikram's Yoga hiatus. I've been returning about once a month for some good solid sweat (these have been my strongest classes ever) and continuing my daily practice at home and visiting various studios around town to take advantage of their first timer offers. It's fun and I'm learning a lot.

Last night I decided to bite the bullet and try Core Power Yoga which I've resisted. I like their ubiquity and class frequency, though over the years of drinking the Bikram Kool-Aid, I've come to sorta disparagingly refer to them as "Corporate Power".

Anyway, I walked in last night to take a class with "hot" and "yoga" in the title which I didn't read too carefully because I feel practicing is more important than practicing something in particular right now. I'm open to whatever lessons the instructor has for us and I can almost always modify the class to suit my needs, if needed. Little did I know I had walked into a Hot Power Yoga Fusion Cardio Kickboxing with Loud Music and Weights and Yelling and Pretty Intense Other Insane Bullshit (in the "ridiculously hard" not "shitty" bullshit kinda way).

My first hint that I might have been in for a surprise was Matt, the instructor, telling me to grab a pair of dumbells as I checked-in. Usually it's "grab a strap, two blocks, a bolster and 2 blankets" and I'm used to practicing without any props. I decided to comply. As I entered the practice room I noticed nearly everyone had a pretty amazing physique.

I unrolled my mat per usual in the front row because I like using the mirror, then went to get my weights. As I returned to my mat with my dumbells I noticed my spot had been flanked by uber smiley pretty red headed identical twins in matching facial glitter & yoga outfits. They reminded me of Thing 1 and Thing 2 from a Dr. Seuss book. They got even more smiley when I asked if they'd like to practice beside each other, so I moved over a smidge. We exchanged pleasantries and they wished me luck promising to offer "twinspiration" during class.

As class started I went "internal", focusing on myself in the mirror. I listen, but otherwise don't usually know what's going on around me in the room unless it's out of the ordinary. The first 5 minutes held no surprises. Some stretching and sun salutations and such. NBD. I completely forgot I was in a new location and about the twins and my dumbells. Zen mode.

Then the music got intense and the instructor started yelling for us (as opposed to AT us). It was instruction and encouragement, but my focus was broken. No matter, I can still exercise if I'm not in Zen mode, right? I noticed Thing 1 & Thing 2 were moving in perfect synch.

I'm not the most coordinated guy when it comes to big body movements (getting better thanks to Adelaide's class), but before I knew it I was lunge punching down low to the right, then karate kicking up high 180 degrees to the left to the beat of C&C Music Factory. It's way more aggro and uncontrolled than the yoga I've been practicing, but it felt good. It was challenging.

I decided to get in synch with the Things as best I could. That felt really good and was pretty fun. I focused on my breath. I achieved a good sweat. My heart pounded in my chest. My vision got sharp. I focused on slowing my breath. I remembered to breathe through my nose (thanks Victoria). That helped a lot. I used my peripheral vision to check my Thing synch, regained my focus and achieved perfect synch. I was pretty surprised I could keep up most of the time.

At the thirty minute mark we had a 5 second breather/water break. I was sweaty and loose and high and hot and realized I was going to hurt later. Thing 2 flashed me a twinspiring smile. I'm glad she didn't offer me a high five. In my exhaustion I probably would have taken it to my forehead.

I had a flashback to my first wrestling practice freshman year of high school where I was SO exhausted that I felt offended AND revolted at the same time, but the good vibes in the room made it SUCH a different experience. 

Somehow I managed to finish the class. More crazy big body movements, punching, kicking, and yelling before the ab workout started. I was so gassed I could only do about 50% and very badly before massively painful ab cramps came into play. I did my honest best. Savasana was heaven. My lights went out and I probably snored.

I bumped into Thing 1 & Thing 2 in the lobby after class and turns out they have names (I promptly forgot) that both begin with the letter "J". Thanks for the twinspriation! It definitely helped.

So my first class at Core Power was pretty interesting and challenging. I look forward to the next two weeks there. I probably won't say Corporate Power anymore. Respect.

Should I be writing a blog?

7/10/16 Update: I guess I should. I already knew I would.