Dancing is My Yoga and Even Better than Yoga ... (Long)

Friday, August 01, 2014

This is a very long story. About six years ago, I’d enrolled in several series of vinyasa yoga classes taught by these young people in a hurry. Location was the then-closest studio to where I lived, that had a wood floor and looked polished and serene.

My painful feet–needing prescribed orthotics when I wear shoes–had kept me willing myself to stay off the dance floor for years (most of that time I’d become obsessed with lap swimming). My second-ever commercialized yoga studio class had been, imho, mistaught for its being yoga (a lot of slow yoga flows with NO cues WHATSOEVER for down-modification – having all the drama, with none of the vinyasa krama; and no “listen to your body” prompts that I’d grown used to and loved at my previous New York Sports Club yoga classes–for YOGA); and thus I’d yelled at them right after class, and accused them of trying to teach me DANCE and not yoga … I’d wound up purposely avoiding taking any more classes from this green teacher (only told after-the-fact that she’d had a few months of classroom yoga, let alone teacher training) hired and kept on, for the purpose of pyramid-like expansion scheme of this yoga chain for several months. (only found THAT out after-the-fact; as was her first name--I guess in the ancient shala in India, expecting only "regulars" they'd NEVER INTRODUCED THEMSELVES before sessions) In many other ways, had got off on the wrong foot, for what that’s worth in the long run.

A LOT, as it happens ...You can tell a lot if a class seems run a little like a secret society or not–where only the 5x/week regulars know the name of the sudden sub (see above). This green yoga teacher seemed to really be in yoga to advance and to learn; it is entirely possible she comes from from a good place and early on owned the fact, without apology, that she teaches the high-value (meant in a market-research sense only) students her own, newer and different, studio of this chain attracts.

My involvement with yoga-only as a form of physical activity for a two year period and particularly with this the first of a half dozen yoga studios I would go to, practically all of them (including Cyndi Lee’s then-OM Yoga studio, which says a LOT--NYC misses you, Cyndi!) less commercially-minded than this one; and how far down they’d dragged my spirit and how ugly the situation became, until it got better the more and more primarily-home-practitioner-fr
iendly the studio would be, on average. There had even been one that pioneered a program in donation Freeform Yoga, which I eagerly, regularly attended.

But do know this: I had loved dance (or, more accurately, cardio dance-exercise) for YEARS prior to a packed schedule resulting in my swimming becoming
landlubbing and thus my seeking yoga so as to, like swimming, keep
me working out but not too much on my feet. My elastic arch supports worn on both feet served as a red flag to some yoga bulls, depending on the studio. It hadn’t been just that first one; but I had been lucky. It had only been 2 of them.

So now, I come back full circle. I will not do 9 and 10 hours a week of physical activity to manage what has presented as a fairly severe case of Type 2 Diabetes. I am 59 and not that vigorous; and I love my mat pilates too much. I am the most Type A with dance exercise; a bit less so with pilates, and vinyasa/power/hatha/any trendy-a$$ flow you could imagine–whatever–brings up the rear.

So non-Type A with yoga, I’m better off (if it isn't my OWN routine) with the yoga being old school. It had taken quite a while for me to get J. Brown’s Yoga Video - that oceanic breathing! - for example; but once I’d gotten it, that has been my go-to. No more Body by Bethenny… makes me sick! But in contrast to yoga, less than an hour at a time with vigorous dance knocks down my blood sugar, It’s healing.

I’ve been told not to bring up the past, to let it go…
Sometimes the most yogic thing you could do is to live in your feelings–it is not all about protecting someone else’s ears. Your best bet is to try to allow an appropriate passage of time in between, so that you could get your details straight and dispassionate!

You CAN speak your truth.

But I also swear by attention to the tone of presentation, as in Louise DeSalvo book Writing as a Way of Healing ... emoticon
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