Well, I was in Times Square at the Solstice Celebration yesterday, June 21st ... and took a class after work. I had to travel (well off my beaten path from where in the New York City metropolitan area I usually travel, and I'd had reduction in hours pay/necessary to make that happen!) nearby there to run an errand, anyway.
It was great! And it made me appreciate taking the different approach.
Well, I'd gotten all the swag - and after the class was putting it all together - chose a place more comforting to me to do so. Turns out a skinny little thing - one of the assistants? models? after her photo opportunity fell onto me in the course of doing an inversion for the crowds--I coulda cared less what the freak she was doing--more my diabetes management talking than mudita--you better believe it!, since I'd had a sling to transport the swag mat I was rolling up, for my long walk to grab a small supper, and then for the rail excursion home. I, if a little brusquely, rolled her little fetal posture childhood gymnastics student's light bones off of my arm ...
Good riddance to the Boston cream pies of yoga ... I have to be tested for glaucoma next week before I segue onto Obamacare; and I already have evidence of diabetic retinopathy ... all yoga inversions are contraindicated for myself despite low-ish to normal blood pressure; as are downward facing dog held too long, or any thudding Ashtanga jumpbacks (I also am light enough to manage a jumpback without bounce or - about as bad: hang-time). Dangerous to me as is a Boston cream pie, and just as enticing to the healthier or those without blood sugar problems!
I think she was from Yoga Journal, altar to asana uber alles ... But, actually, the main course, and not the sugar-shock dessert: after practicing yoga with Colleen Saidman and Rodney Yee. Can you say "forgiving yoga style?" ... they instructed only to the low middle in skill level, if that ... certainly, I am an advanced beginner, and due primarily to a recently lowered body weight (though not strength anymore - yoga's dirty little secret is that more advanced postures are not about size or strength--except when an average sized or larger person has developed a beyond-probability amount of upper-body strength due to heredity and obsessive training. The rest of the posturing about postures are LIES, LIES and MORE LIES), and despite closed, internally rotated hips--am cusping yet again on intermediate level ...
Now here for the rest of the truth:
If you know Times Square in New York City, during tourist/wedding/grad/dad/summe
r camp season, then you know what crowds are ... why would that go away just because someone organized (and they did a masterful job, if I may say so) a mega-class?
Well, I'd never been in a large yoga class. Simply because I commute from outer borough to outer borough within New York City in the course of having a full time job and caretaking responsibilities; and did not pick that kind of studio, to date. So this was a whole new world, opened up to me.
Now, the class is also, informally, by donation ... and I did choose to donate a more-than-nominal amount ... not the Andrew Jackson face one, but not so much south of that ... They said give "what you'd normally pay for a yoga class" ... so I gave that ... in truth, what I'd paid for my last donation class (a few years ago) ... and regular readers of my blogs and in my teams know that paying anything for a yoga class - especially one advertised as "free" - to me is severe pain in the pocketbook ...
Anyway, when you are teaching 4,000 people, only a select few will get the stage view.
There was an hour waiting (standing! It's a good thing there is over 30 pounds less of me than two years ago - thank you, low carbing!; and that my orthotics are new) to get in the gate. Once in, another 20 minutes of sitting cross legged (my sit bones on a well improvised impromptu prop of a hardcover book) waiting for announcements, etc. and for the class to finally start.
I already own a few of Yee's dvds and I'm not sure, maybe a download. Not a member of their Gaiam, Yoga Club or Gaiam TV, though (slow streaming speed) ...
They have a distinctive, imaginative hatha style ... which had not changed on me over the years. Colleen was different from her husband, mostly in her patter ... I felt privileged to be taking from them, despite my little physical problems, and aversion of crowds, herding and near-Germanic parade-like queuing organization ...
It was actually the 11th annual, not the 10th. (Start of the 11th period, or Solstice count).
I've a very soulful yoga teacher to whom I normally go. I will take the commemorative Athleta yoga mat they'd given me AND use it in that class atop the mat included with class (this would be the free class I'd been granted as an adjustment). Then, she'd - like it or not - probably surmise that I'd been there.
I'd gotten all the swag available (available to my nosebleed section, anyhow) ... including free guest passes to Integral Yoga Institute, and other high-profile studios, INCLUDING Tree of Life, where I used to go for yoga and still go (for even more SPIRITUAL pursuits), and a little yoga DVD from Yoga Journal.
Of course I had been taking a helluva chance with these diabetic feet on unfamiliar ground, even with my mat atop the swag mat--kept having to move the book onto the road-pavement. A spider had crawled across my mat as I practiced, as well.
But I've always been risk-neutral.
And a side note about size or obsession with same: It is only recently that I have been slim in the generally socially acceptable range for my East Coast location, and among certain economic classes ... despite having been at an acceptable size range for the past nearly 8 of 10 years (That is, acceptable to me, my upbringing and everyone in my family except possibly my sister ... not that she is a "social climber", but she acts just like one ...) I consider myself of little judgment. Particularly the fact that I never was athletic as a child. Never had any ability with the jungle gyms of my youth. No gymnastics classes; could never do a decent flip turn or even do a water somersault in a swimming pool or any other body of water. And never went to sleepaway camp. It's all mixed in there and flopped around in my writing.