At some point yoga became the highlight of my weekends. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. It was just supposed to be something that I happened to do.
But it wasn’t just something that I did. In Starkville at Firefly Yoga, it was taking away my mornings. In Stillwater at Red Earth Yoga, it steals the middle of the day. I was having to dedicate real time to these things.
I didn’t realize what would happen as a result. Ashtanga is a special kind of evil yoga that goes after pretty much every muscle, even ones I didn’t know I had.
Because I couldn’t lift after a shoulder issue kept me out of the weight room for a while, I quit the gym in Mississippi and was left with yoga as my only real source of upper body strength training. For the most part, that’s not going to cut it. Ashtanga disagreed. More specifically, 58 vinyasas disagreed.
I almost threw up the first time I went to an ashtanga class. This was something I had to take seriously.
I started making sure I was prepped for class. I generally wouldn’t run the day before class. I was getting a good night’s rest. It was still kicking my ass, but I was getting used to it.
Flash forward to the move, and I had a new studio to acclimate to. I had the luxury of a weekend ashtanga class again, but I had to deal with it a new time, a time I didn’t want to spend sweating on a synthetic mat.
After a few weeks of procrastinating, I finally made it in. I then proceeded to attempt dying after 90 minutes of 90-degree yoga. It was brutal. I was wiped. But I made it. And that’s what matters.
I’ve been back a few more times, and as I’ve acclimated to the heat, I’ve started being able to make it through class somewhat successfully. A few weeks ago, I was able to do all but a couple of the vinyasas available to us. Last week I did them all.
Crap. You know what that means. Time to make it harder on myself.
Once I started doing ashtanga here, I went from 3 weight room sessions to 2 so I could have the rest before masochism took place. It was working. I was about as fresh as I could hope for going into ashtanga, but now that I’m no longer dying, I decided that lifting the day before might not hurt so bad. I took it relatively easy, but I was still lifting. I woke with sore shoulders that were bound to appreciate all the vinyasas I could throw at them.
And I threw the vinyasas at them. I lucked out. The studio was in the 60s when we arrived because someone turned the heater off (the windchill hit low 20s this morning), so it took a while for the studio to heat up. My shoulders still hate me, but I survived again.
So in the middle of the pie-eating contest that is academia (and the prize is more pie), I keep adjusting my week around 90 minutes in a musty studio.
And I’m cool with that.