Last night I had this brilliant idea to take the Yin Yoga 90 class at my Bikram studio. The other teachers had been promoting it and I thought it might be interesting to try something other than Bikram.
OMG – what was I thinking? I obviously had no idea what it was or would be like, or I would have just gone for a walk and called it good. But I was feeling adventurous and brave, and off I went into this big new world.
First, it’s a lot slower pace, deeper stretches, longer holding of postures than Bikram. The postures are also different than Bikram, so it was new that way as well. While they advertise this as all levels, I really felt out of my depth. The teacher could not have been any kinder or more encouraging both during and after class, but it will be awhile before I try it again.
Second, holding postures for 3 minutes? It was insane! Some of them felt pretty wonderful for about the first minute, and by the time the 90 minutes passed I could see the reasoning behind the long, deliberate, slow pace. It’s simply far too early in my yoga education journey to dive in head first that way.
The reason I like the Bikram so much is that each class is the same 26 postures in the same order. The room is nice and bright, I can see everyone around me, and it is far easier for me to measure my small progress forward with each practice I attend. If I fall out I can pick up and try again – I know what it’s supposed to be doing. Because I have never done any other type of yoga, going to a class with very limited instruction and in a darkened room with music was daunting. I alternated between bursting into tears of frustration and thinking obsessively about the mistake I had made – not conducive to quieting your thoughts and relaxing.
Still, it was a good experience, not the setback I was imagining and projecting during the first 2/3 of the class. With more experience I will want to try it again. For now, I’ll stick with what is familiar. Still hard, sometimes feels absolutely impossible, but there is a lot of comfort in the same postures, same cadence every practice.
And with that, I am going to eat a little something so I can be present at the 10 a.m. Bikram class (since I overslept and missed the 8 a.m.).