Since October, I’ve been going to ashtanga yoga with the Yoga Society and my sports buddy through the Nottingham Advantage Award. At first, I must admit I was quite wary about joining yoga. I had visions of myself lying on the floor, concentrating on my breathing and not doing much physical activity. I’ve also read stories of how many people pass wind during yoga and was a bit apprehensive.
But after the first session, I was hooked. Ashtanga yoga is more dynamic than other types and it involves a lot of movement, stretching, twisting and jumping between positions. I got a good workout from it and could feel all my muscles, especially those in my legs. I also love a good stretch.
However, there is one thing about yoga, which I struggle with each week… the first downward dog of the session.
The down dog position is a whole body stretch and the first one hurts…a lot. It’s a position that is repeated many times during the class and the first one is definitely the hardest. The painful stretch in my calves is a weird sensation, it almost feels like the muscle could rip away from the bone, it’s so tight. But with each repetition of the downward dog, I feel my muscles stretching more and relaxing slightly as I ease into the session.
Ashtanga yoga has been a really great activity for me. My balance is quite good and I find myself being able to try the advanced balance positions now, and even though my flexibility has increased during the semester, it still needs work. I still can’t touch my toes without bending my knees. It’s been something that I have tried at uni which I never had any intention of trying, only to find out that I really enjoy it and I will be looking to see if there are any ashtanga classes in Coventry for when I’m back at home during the Xmas holidays. If not, I’ll have to find a youtube video to follow once a week as my jump throughs are coming on really well and I love doing Urdhva Dhanurasana (back bends).