I recently set a new yoga PR.
(Ha ha – imagine we talked about yoga like that?!?)
Cedric’s friend won a two-week pass at my yoga studio, Moksha Squamish. She kindly passed it along to me – best gift ever!
I have purposely been trying to sloooowly spread out my multi-class pass to make it last all year long. As such, I don’t get to go to yoga as often as I’d like to. I decided to make the most of my 14 days of yoga by hitting 14 classes in as many days*.
*Actually, the 14th day I was in Whistler and couldn’t make any classes – so I two-a-daysed Day 13.
The timing was perfect for two reasons. One, the two-week period I picked happened to coincide with two weeks of horrible, nasty, rainy weather (i.e., a typical Squamish November). There’s nothing better than a cozy yoga class in a hot room when it’s grey and awful outside. Two, this was the perfect way to let my busted up lower leg muscles recover fully after my early November half marathon (and associated training drama).
Having the two-week pass meant that I could try a lot of classes I don’t normally go for. I set a goal to try as many different class styles with as many different teachers as possible. I managed not to hit the same class style with the same teacher at all – this required some serious schedule analysis skills.
Not only did I make a point of mixing up class styles and teaching approaches, but I also tried to hit classes at different times of day (yep – even a 6:30 AM class!), put my mat in different corners of the room each time, and approach similar classes with totally different intentions.
Here are a few takeaways:
- A typical Moksha class features the same sequence of postures, with a minor mix-up here and there. If you ever feel like it’s starting to feel repetitive, try it with a new teacher. One of my best Moksha classes was the fifth one – despite having done it four times already in a relatively short period of time, for some reason, the fifth felt totally different.
- As great as it is for saving money, doing yoga alone at home just doesn’t hold a candle for me compared to taking a class in person. I found that the vibe of the class changed significantly depending on whether there were only 8 or so people in the studio or if it was completely full. I liked both for different reasons, but it made me realize that you really do pick up on something from the people around you.
- It’s hard to pick a favourite class, but if I had to, it would be the 60 minute Moksha with live music. The Squamish studio hosts this class on Friday evenings. I liked it so much that I took it twice (it’s the only one I took twice, but each one had a different teacher). The first time I did it, the teacher didn’t actually instruct – he just lead by doing his own practice in the middle of the room and gave subtle cues with his breath. It was totally different and totally awesome – I highly recommend this one if you’ve got a few Moksha classes under your belt.
- I looooove hot yoga, but I have to admit I missed going outside and getting fresh air on trail runs. Yes, even in the awful weather. I think my ideal balanced yoga schedule would be three classes a week.
- The greatest challenge of the 14-day challenge was managing my laundry. Specifically, I only own one yoga towel. I am a very sweaty human, so it is difficult for me to do a non-yin style class without a towel. A lot of laundry was done throughout this two-week period.
I’d love to hear how other people mix up their yoga practice. Here are a few final thoughts re: how I stayed stoke for each and every class by mixing up goals and intentions:
- Mirror vs. no mirror: I typically set up in a spot where I can see myself in the mirror because I like being able to make adjustments based on what I see. However, it was good to mix it up sometimes and hide behind other people, where I had to rely on other sensations rather than visuals.
- Go back to basics: I tried an entire class where I always stayed with the first variation (usually the easier one, though I don’t think it’s proper yoga lingo to say that). This was a good way of focusing on squeezing all the right muscles without having to worry too much about balance and other aspects of a pose.
- Intentions – internal vs. external: I wrote a post about yoga intentions a little while back, but I like to set a key area of focus before I start a class. About 60% of the time, I would come up with an intention on my own, but sometimes the teacher would offer a little preamble and would suggest a pretty good intention that I borrowed for the class.