Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hips don't lie

I am taking the best yoga class ahhhhhh. It's with an instructor that a friend brought me to over a year ago, but that friend is no longer in the Bay Area and I just happened upon the instructor's new class. Different channel, different time, same show. It's very relaxing and slow-moving, with a lot of focus on breathing; perfect for a noob like me. Her posture corrections are genius - in my first class, she told me to grab her ankles and lift my hips while laying on my back, and boom! I was in a bridge, which I have not done since I was 9 and had the first of a very long series of freakish growth spurts. I whooped, she murmured "Excellent, excellent, beautiful" at me in her impossible-to-place-but-lovely accent, and I imagined that all others in the class, who had easily pulled off a backbend unaided, were rolling their upside-down eyes at me.

The studio is on Divis, and even though it's on the second story, you can hear all the street noise. I love that. The room has incredibly high ceilings and huge windows and a beautiful wood floor. It smells exactly like San Francisco to me, the smell I missed so much when I was living in Boston. It's a little bit of mold and mildew and fog, a little bit of good old wood, a little eucalyptus, and a lot of whatever it is that continues to make this city magic for me. I could live in that room. I love feeling my body warm up in there, and then cool down at the end of class, when we're in whatever that pose is called where you lay like a dead person and breath for an endless amount of time. You pull a wool blanket over you then, and it's heavy and probably has other people's sweat on it, but it's perfect.

According to my friends who have gone to this instructor for a long time, she does a lot of hip work. I don't know exactly what that means since everything in my life feels like hip work, given that I have a bum right hip/butt, but I am told that since ladies hold lots of tension in their hips, this is a Very Good Thing. Whatever this hip work is feels magical - I leave class with the very tiniest muscle tremors all over, a feeling like exhaustion but also like the happy tingliness of a massage.

That's enough gushing - blame it on the hip work. I am an incrementalist in all things, so as much as I love this class I'm not going to become a yoga-head anytime soon. I will, however, be bringing my mother to class when she visits in a few weeks, and I think that is going to be something to see.

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