You know, I am seriously just processing my trip. Processing takes what ever time it takes, and it comes out however it does…meaning I’m not sure there will be a post. Or maybe there will be. I just don’t know when the right words will come; I’ve invited them…I guess we’ll see.
But there are a couple specific things I’d like to write about so I’ll start with those.
This will be the yoga part, because I made it a priority to find and take as many yoga classes as I was able to. This is not to say that I don’t have a personal practice…or maybe it is. My personal practice is half-hearted; I love being in a class with others, their energy pushes me and, while I don’t compare myself to others, I do like to catch the tailwinds that a class generates, and allow that energy to help me flow.
The first class I took was in a cool studio in Chaska, MN on Saturday the 27th. It had several classes a day, a cool room and a hot room, and a few different levels. It was also pretty “fitness” oriented. I took an advanced class and there was no sanskrit, no real instructions. I got the feeling that maybe this is the same practice these people do every time? I don’t know. It wasn’t a bad class, but certainly not a class that made me want to go back. And the mats they rented? UGH! The class was pretty warm, about 85-90 degrees and I was slipping and sliding. I didn’t feel safe so I held back on a lot of poses. Like I said, not bad, but not for me.
The next class I took was Monday the 29th, after I moved from the hotel in Shakopee (naming the towns is for my memory and for any of you geography geeks out there) to Victoria where I stayed with my Brother-in-law and his wife, parents of the groom. I drove just a few minutes away to a very cool little town called Excelsior, right on Lake Minnetonka. This place looked promising; they called it a healing arts center, offered massage and auyervedic info as well as yoga. When I came in I could see the class before me finishing up. A beginner’s class and a packed room. They didn’t rent mats, they loaned them out free (LOVE that!) and they were all nice, safe mats. The class I took was intermediate level and only 4 other people showed up, which is how it works there. It was a really nice class tho, a great studio with open windows on a beautiful day, a lovely teacher who spoke about yoga (though still no sanskrit names for poses) and even had us doing some kundalini breath of fire and chanting at the end. I had thought maybe it was a regional thing to not use sanskrit, but here we were chanting. I asked her about it afterwards and she said of the 5 people in class she only knew 1 and just thought she’d stay easy. I liked her a lot. After class I walked down the street for tea and a GF muffin, sat by the lake and just enjoyed the day for an hour or so. I went back to the same class on Wednesday, this time there was only 2 of us in class, but the beginner class was, again, packed. I loved it, it was almost like a private, and she worked with us like that. I highly recommend this place for classes. I left on Thursday morning and was disappointed because there was a Thursday night Yin class I would have loved to have taken…but the lake house called!
On Thursday I got up really early so I could make it to St.Cloud, heading toward the lake, for an 8 am class with Karin . Karin runs Return Yoga in St. Cloud (all info and blog online). She also used to write a recovery blog called Whiskey and Porn For Everyone, and that’s how I “met” her several years ago. That blog is still up too, though she doesn’t write there anymore. She writes so beautifully and a good recovery blog never goes out of date. I found her blog right when I had already quit drinking but was struggling hard with the whole HP concept. Her blog helped me, a lot. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
Anyway, in the old blog she writes about doing her teacher training and here she is 3 years later owning a studio, running trainings…she’s the real deal. I have read and admired and talked with her via twitter and instagram for years, and I finally got to meet her and take a class, it was awesome! Her class was focused, her students devoted, her vibe just perfect, the space absolutely wonderful. Meeting any of you, my “imaginary friends” as I tend to call you (and you know I know you are all SO real), is always such a treat, and this was a huge one for me.
(At the end look for a link to her blog and an online class she is going to give)
After spending a little time chatting with Karin I headed for Nisswa, right outside of Brainerd where I was going to stay until Monday at the lake. Friday morning I got up with one of my nieces went to a class at another healing arts center. This was a GREAT class. He described it as yin, but it was no yin I knew, although what he was working and accomplishing with us was definitely yin. There was floor work, and long held poses, but there was a lot of long held dynamic movement though, repetitious. A different way to go deep, through movement. He never used any of the Yin names for poses I knew, but it was moot as these were mostly all new to me. I loved it, and learned a lot, most importantly, and once again, that every teacher is different, every class is different, and there are a myriad of ways to do a pose. I appreciate that so much in my practice, and in any practice I might teach…modifications are necessary and new ideas are (or can be) awesome. First do no harm, right? And he spoke my language….breathe, return to the breathe, focus on the breathe, the breathe is the practice, allow the breathe to bring you deeper….lovely.
He was closed during the weekend of the 4th, but when I left Monday I stopped and took another class from him. So good, my body peeled open both times.
(I may as well add in my meeting info here, which was a little disappointing to me. I like visiting other meetings when I travel, they are all so different. I only hit one meeting on my 12 day trip, but it was a lovely BB study and I was glad I made it. I was with my sober brother-in-law both weekends, and I had dinner on Monday night with an old friend of mine and Tom’s in Minneapolis, who has over 30 years sobriety. I also, as always, kept up texts with my sober posse. But I was busy, and happy. It was all good, never a moment when I felt like a drink was a remotely good idea. )
Since I’ve been home I am right back on my own yoga schedule and it feels so good. I took a class wednesday, two yesterday and I just got out of class today. I need to call my
guinea pig friend today and let him now I am back and ready to work with him again (wait, did I ever say I am working with someone? I am, it’s been great, I am learning a lot and he seems to like it!).
I just re-read this fact filled post, dry, a list. Oh well. Maybe it’s like a yin practice, breaking down the resistance to going deeper and allowing that to happen. Anything is possible!
Here is the link to Karin’s website, blog and self-care course. It looks good; I’m in!