from hillarysyogapractice.wordpress.com

There’s a constant pressure in our lives to push for the bigger and better, the next level. Sometimes we can get so carried away trying to do more that we end up sucking at what we already do. The pros featured in our April Design issue didn’t get there by half-assing their asses to the top; every single seemingly insignificant small detail became a big detail and worked to perfect their art from the foundation.

Now, if the state of our bodies is the result of personal fitness and health, why don’t we take the same care and make the same effort perfecting ourselves, no matter the level? For my yoga class this week, I decided to give the arm balances a break (I’m miserable at them, anyway) and go back to the basics.

I hauled myself out of bed this morning at 7:00 am (that’s how much I love you readers) and got to CorePower Yoga in time for the C1 class. Chrissie, the instructor for the class, was at the front desk and was super enthusiastic about me wanting to emphasize the importance of fine-tuning the basics.

“It’s the foundation of yoga,” a teacher wrapped in a blanket said as she wiped her flushed cheeks with a towel.

“This class is about the postures and alignment, so just make sure to follow the cues and your breath will follow,” said Chrissie, before I made my way upstairs.

Chrissie started the class in Child’s Pose and she instructed us to think about our purpose and our reason for being in the class. There was a brand new guy in the class, so perhaps he was there to spice up his workout routine, and there were seasoned yogis there who maybe did a Sculpt class the day before and decided to take it easy today. Chrissie also suggested that we dedicate the class to someone, which I appreciated and was totally into, because why shouldn’t we channel all this energy into a concentrated purpose? We’re doing this great thing for our bodies and releasing positive vibes into the world, so why shouldn’t we make a link with a person who needs it, in the hopes that by some karmic connection it makes some kind of difference? (I dedicated my class to you, Lena; I hope you felt at least a little something!)

Once our bodies were buzzing with purpose, Chrissie led us through a series of poses, nothing more complicated than Extended Side Angle, and she explained every pose as we did it. I noticed very minor things I hadn’t before in each pose, and after tweaking them that little bit, I could feel the difference. My hips felt looser after I moved my knees farther apart in Child’s Pose, and my back opened up in Tree Pose after I spiraled my arms and reached my pinkies to the center. We went through every pose two more times after the first slow flow and by the third one, the new guy’s Warrior II was perfect.

The rest of the class passed with more subtle, pose-adjusting moments and when Chrissie suggested we try Crow Pose (an arm balance, ugh) I was feeling quite self-aware. I placed my hands, felt all ten finger pads press into the floor, my knees pressed into my triceps, focused my gaze, and hinged forward off my toes. And held it for a solid 30 seconds. Nailed it!