I am really not a fan of music being played during yoga class. Although fun and motivating, music diminishes the meditative aspect of yoga that makes yoga so much more than a workout. Below is an open letter from a fellow yogini that illustrates the distractions that playing music during yoga class create.
Open letter to yoga teachers
Please please please yoga teachers,
I have a love-hate relationship with Ustrasana or Camel pose. I hate every breath I am in Camel and love the inexplicable release when I come out of it. The intense back bend makes it difficult to breathe. I often feel a strange pressure in my chest and a slight dizziness in the pose. My spine reacts with a sharp stiffness that somehow aches pleasurably, like a deep-tissue massage. My exhales have a smoky, almost acrid quality to them reminiscent of toxic fumes. It is almost like I am breathing chemicals. Sometimes I get a metallic taste in my mouth and even spit up gobs of mucus. No other yoga pose makes me react this way.
Ebony Howard at Eb & Flow Yoga Studio gave me a useful pointer that helps my spine open. She told me to tighten my quads and zip up my inner thighs, making them rock solid before going into the back bend part. She had me practice holding my thighs against a wall and also put a block in between them to feel the inner thighs. Note to self: continue working on those quads and inner thighs.
Does anyone else get these weird sensations in Camel?
Workshop for Lower Back and Neck Pain at Tejas Yoga
I wish I had fully remembered my first Hot Yoga experience in 2003 before deciding to try Hot Yoga at FFC West Loop. The 105F room temperature combined with strenuous yoga poses made me vomit and I spent the rest of the day dizzy and nauseous with a splitting headache that was probably heatstroke. Ten years later and in much better physical shape, the memory of that day had completely faded and I was looking forward to a new class to add to my repertoire of cardio kickboxing, running, spin, muscle conditioning, Pilates and yoga. Plus, my friend told me the instructor led a rigorous and intense practice and confirmed that his class was not restorative. Power yoga may contradict the sensibilities of traditional yogis but I relish an energetic and aerobic vinyasa flow that takes me to the edge.
Beach yoga truly restores the spirit and adds an additional element of sand that shifts relentlessly with every minor adjustment. The shifting sands remind us of the unexpected ways life shifts as we move through it making minor and major adjustments. It also reminds us to pay attention and be present, especially in balancing poses. A blue expanse of lake and sky provides a calming, visual beauty that enhances our practice. What's not to love about beach yoga? My only advice is to bring an oversize mat or towel for plenty of room for every pose.
Artist and writer exploring the intersection between physical fitness and overall well being.