Growing My Yoga Practice

So how are we doing friends? It’s been an “interesting” couple of weeks. A new tag on my blog is authoritarianism. Cool. Yeah? No. Lots of yoga needed at this point.

When I first started blogging in 2006, my personal experience with politics was one of the main things that I wrote about. I was a Delegate representing Quincy for Deval Patrick at the 2006 Massachusetts Democratic Convention. Below are some of my words from back then.

Overall, this was a great experience. I met and shook hands with Deval Patrick and his wife, Kitty Dukakis, George McGovern, and some of my local representatives. The voting process surprised me. It wasn’t secret. We shouted our choices to our local teller, who was surrounded by a crowd of people who were making sure everything was taken down correctly. I felt proud being there and giving my votes. I so strongly feel that we all really need to participate in the political process if we want to make changes.

When he became Governor Patrick, I was so excited! I felt so much hope for this state. Then when President Obama was elected just a couple of years after, it was bliss. I felt like the political process was really moving us forwards as Americans. The arc of our country was moving toward justice. Or it seemed to be.

Back to the present. Now when I wake up each day I wonder what devastation has befallen our nation and Constitution. And it’s not even by outside forces or influences. The devastation is from within.

Our own president is assaulting the very fabric of this country. He considers most of us enemies. He berates us. Disrespects us. Puts us in actual danger. It weighs heavy on me.

I am trying to figure out how to stay physically and emotionally strong. Resilient. Seeing the goodness and strength of so many helps. The protests and rising up of so many encourages me. We are at a pivotal time in this country. We are redefining what it means to be American. Taking a stand.

There is a shifting inside of me. I am looking to do different types of work. Trying to find ways to better serve than I have in the past. Learning what I can and cannot do. This requires self-examination. Introspection.

I recently read an article that I posted onto the Free Yoga Boston Facebook page. The article on Shape.com is about how women have been taking more yoga classes since Trump became president.

Many women have turned to yoga to help them deal. “With so much doubt and uncertainty following the election, I found myself craving an outlet that allowed me to completely detach from it all,” says Andrea Kravitz, who’s a fan of the classes at Y7 Studio and considers herself a moderate Democrat. “In the last 26 days, I’ve been to 17 classes and did some more yoga at home on my own.” …

Leslie Zerbe, an American who lives in New Zealand, turned to yoga when she needed an escape from all of the inauguration news. She felt so stressed—which she previously only felt as a result of work—that she attended a four-hour yin yoga session the day after the inauguration.

I have mostly been doing a home practice and recently have been feeling like I needed some guidance. Needed a change. I felt a shift.

A co-worker, who also lives in Quincy, has been raving about a Restorative Yoga class that she takes at Healing Tree Yoga. So I went on their website, and found that as a new member, I could take an unlimited number of classes in seven days for only $20.00. Since I had some time this week, I signed up and so far have taken three classes in two days. I feel great!

Yesterday morning I took a Vinyasa Flow Yoga class. It was very similar to a Hatha class that I used to take on a regular basis years ago. There was nice music and I enjoyed the instructor’s guidance. Especially when she talked about how our struggles on and off the mat can be looked at as new information. Instead of thinking how difficult something is or how uncomfortable a situation is, we can just observe and think, “Well that’s new. That’s different.” Then we can breathe and be more objective. We can step back and decide how we will proceed.

The class was in a very large room, but there weren’t that many of us, so we had room to move and stretch without bumping into anyone. There were large windows and the sun was shining in. As I was standing in my poses I could look out and see the blue sky. It made me feel part of nature.

Last night, I went to the Restorative Yoga class and actually saw my co-worker there! It was a great class too. It was very different from the Vinyasa class. Instead of standing and doing multiple poses one after another, we were seated in supported poses using blocks and bolsters. The poses were held for a very long time, so it was like we were in very comfortable long stretches.

Since it was night, there was a different feel too. We were in a smaller room and closer together. It was somewhat dark and there were lit tea light candles around the periphery of the room. After the class, I felt almost the way I feel after a massage. Very relaxed and soothed.

This morning I went to a Gentle Yoga class. It felt like something in between the Vinyasa and Restorative. There were some standing flow poses, but there were also seated supported poses. It was a nice combination. We had an electric fireplace in the small room, which added a nice cozy feel to the class. Hygge.

Also, I learned that our instructor Christine offers spa services on the premises in addition to teaching yoga classes. I signed up for Restorative Spa Yoga class with her in March that I am really looking forward to. It’s a two hour class with restorative poses that includes “a massage, facial, energy work and sound healing.”

I’m going to try adding some restorative poses to my home practice and I’m looking forward to attending many more classes! Tomorrow morning I will be trying Yin Yoga.

Namaste.