Posts Tagged ‘jewel in the lotus’

The Yoga Challenge: Day 7

June 13, 2009

I’m on day 7 of my self-imposed 14-day yoga challenge.

It didn’t start as a challenge. I’m in Madison for a few weeks, and the yoga studio Jewel in the Lotus has this great introductory offer: $20 gets you as many yoga sessions you want for 2 weeks. 

I had done some yoga with my eastern-philosophical, mixed-martial-artist Bulgarian friend. But these sun salutations where just used as a warm-up to fighting each other. And in any case, it was difficult to get my breathing down knowing I would soon be eating Eastern European foot.

Nonetheless, I could unbeautifully get my way through a Sun Salutation A. But I’ve never done the poses longer than a half hour. The sessions at Jewel run anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half. 

Still, I do a daily run of about 5 to 8 miles. I have a pretty good and regular weight training routine. I thought this would be a good way to break up my days in Madison. 

An uncomfortable personal detail: I sweat a lot. Always have. Even when in tip-top shape in high school when I managed to go through both football and soccer conditioning back-to-back. My sweat pores just open up at the slightest provocation of exertion. It’s an inheritance from my overheated polish peasant farmhand ancestors.  

So although I expected some sweat, I wasn’t expecting the ensuing downpour. It’s already difficult to properly hold a pose when starting off, and it’s not any easier when your yoga mat becomes a (kinda gross) Slip ‘N Slide.

Picture 35Try holding a downward dog on this.

Day 1 was a bit of a humbling disaster.  And I’m not one to taking humbling disasters lightly. So I retroactively posed the challenge: do one session a day, every day for 2 weeks. 

I’m on day 7 and I can say I exist in a state of the euphoric soreness. Core-related parts of my body that I never really focused on are getting a new undivided (and perhaps unwanted) attention.

The Jewel in the Lotus teachers have been extremely patient and helpful. I can’t imagine they look forward to dealing with a sweaty dude everyday, but they’ve done a ton to improve my posing, movements, flexibility, and breathing.

At the beginning of this morning’s class, I had the sudden fear that I was not going to make it. My lower back was still warm from the evening class and I just felt like I had no juice. 

But today was the best. I managed back bends, hand stands, and for the first time, a bakasana.

Picture 36I’m sorta able to do something like this now.

I even got a compliment on my progress. Things are looking up, yoga-wise.