nature, yoga

The unexpected

Ozarks fall foliage

Originally uploaded by arahbahn

The one thing that struck me most about the landscape – keeping in mind it was the early-December landscape – of the Ozarks was the incredible variety of shapes and colors of leaves that were covering all the trails that we treat upon, during out trip. On our walks at home, the leaves are predominantly oaks, with a few Ginkgo and various maples as well, for good measure. It’s a nice variety of colors, but that variety paled in comparison to what we saw in Sam A. Baker park (shown here), around LIke Tywappity, as well is along a municipal trail in Cape Girardeau, in southeast Missouri.

Also unexpected:

A month ago I did something a little daring, for me- I committed to taking a full week – 7 consecutive days – of a vinyasa flow yoga class taught in a hot (maybe around 95 degrees) studio. It was daring because prior to that I’d tried Bikram yoga, a less fluid, rather rigid style taught in a superheated (105+ degrees) studio, three times. After the third I decided that I couldn’t handle the extreme heat, and I also wasn’t incredibly fond of the fixed series of poses – many of which aren’t my favorites.

After a week of the reasonably-heated vinyasa classes, I felt fabulous. Strong, flexible, with increased physical balance. When I resumed running I positively bounced. However, I did not necessarily feel more relaxed, or balanced in a holistic sort of way, as I felt I should, at the end of a class. Those classes are incredibly stimulating: crowded, hot, sonic (there’s music), the people -and yoga outfits- there are very attractive, aerobic, and distractingly sweaty. I still can’t believe how much sweat my body is capable of emitting though it’s nice to see that winter – or my continued practice – is decreasing my sweat volume.

So, the prescribed brief Savasana ends up being more a period of physical cooldown than any sort of real repose. I have trouble even letting gravity fully take hold, much less getting that yummy, I’m-taffy sort of transcendence that Savasana can sometimes enable. It’s a challenge that I’m still working to resolve; I’m not ready to give up and just assume I can’t do it.

That said, this problem has driven me into my home practice more than I thought anything would. Almost every night now, I’ll set aside time for a brief practice session, if only to get a few delicious restorative poses in. And I have utterly fallen in love with Viparita Karani. I’m addiicted, if such a thing can be said of a yoga pose, and be healthy.