Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunrise Yoga


I had the opportunity to try something new this weekend. My local yoga studio, Evolve Yoga & Wellness, hosted a sunrise yoga class on Saturday June 21st.

The class was held at the beautiful Leonardtown Wharf. It was free to the public with donations of non-perishable food to support the local food pantries and packaged food for the local animal shelters greatly appreciated.

What I loved about the class was that it was open to all levels. I have only been practicing yoga for a little over a year, and am very much a beginner yogi.

The next sunrise classes are scheduled for Saturday July 18th and Saturday August 22nd from 7:30-8:30 am.

As I mentioned, this was something new for me. I have never done sunrise yoga and I have never practiced in a group setting. I am not very bendy. I've always been afraid to attend a class because of how silly I think I look when I need to modify poses. Recently, however, I'm learning to love my body with all it's strengths and weaknesses. With International Day of Yoga being June 21st I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone to do something so fitting-- practice yoga!

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect so I showed up pretty early. I arrived to a very peaceful setting. A kind woman took my donation, asked me to sign in, then offered me packets of wildflower seeds. 

wild flowers

I then set off to find a place to lay my mat. I was surprised to see how full it was already. I didn't want to be in the front so I slowly wondered to the back and set up next to a girl I didn't know. We introduced ourselves to each other and started chatting about how inflexible we both are! Haha I found the right group to sit with :) No intimidation factor. A few friends ended up finding me and joined us in the back. As we were sitting around waiting for the class to start, the instructor walked over and introduced herself. She informed us that she had several teacher trainers who would be assisting throughout the class with adjustments and alignment. 

The class started with some meditation and very gentle moves as we warmed our bodies up. We then proceeded into the Surya Namaskara A & B sun salutations. I wish I could remember all the asanas (postures) we did and the order we did them in, but unfortunately I cannot. We did several balancing and seated asanas, and finished in savasana (corpse pose) with more meditation. 

Although I cannot remember all the asanas, I do remember how I felt during the class. I felt challenged-- but at the same time, I felt that everything we did was within my ability level. Does that make sense? The sun salutations got my heart rate up, and several asanas and transitions that were very "quad-centric" had my muscles burning (in a good way!). I felt proud of myself during the balancing asanas. I was able to push myself a bit more than usual and found myself feeling stable-- which is totally awesome. There were a few times during class that the instructor would encourage us to go deeper. I found myself actually being able to do it. Maybe it was all the positive energy, or maybe it was having someone tell me I could do it. What ever it was, I felt great when the class ended. Like many people I have pretty much non-stop chattering thoughts running through my head. I find it challenging to quiet those thoughts during meditation. There were a few times during the meditation that I felt like I got it right, but then more nonsense would enter my head. Oh well, progress not perfection :) 

The beautiful outdoor location for this class was perfect. There's something so calming about being near water. I love the way yoga makes me feel and I'm looking forward to returning to the July class. And I hope to visit the studio some time before that. 

the view from my mat 

Tell me-- Did you get out of your comfort zone this weekend? Are you doing anything special to celebrate International Day of Yoga? What do you find most challenging about yoga?

♥AK


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