Wednesday, September 3, 2008

76/78 "Slowly, gently...."

4:30 pm with Margaux

Margaux's classes are deceptively hard.  She speaks slowly and softly, with a bit of a sing-song tone to her voice.  In general, her tone helps make the class a more meditative experience.  It's easy to remain calm and focused without the usual rushing, near panicked cries to push, and push...  But the slower pacing tends to mean being in the poses longer.

And then there is my favorite contradiction, which so far I have only heard from her.  At the end of each pose, instead of just calling "change" as most teachers do, Margaux says to slowly, gently do the move that would bring you out of the pose, and then says "change."  What this slowness and gentleness means, of course, is that I'm working longer and harder while coming out of the pose.  The gentle release makes the class harder, not easier.  Even better, Margaux is so naturally kind that I'm pretty sure that she is not aware of this effect: it is just her way.

Class today was fine, but I was a bit stiffer than I've been recently.  Fixed Firm, for example, was back to leaning back and supporting myself on my arms.  I could feel my hip some more in the forward bends and sit-ups.  I moved a bunch of stuff out of storage just after lunch, and carrying the boxes and full suitcases probably accounts for the stiffness.  Of course, I felt better after class.

It also felt cool in class today.  I haven't been feeling the heat much at all recently.  After class I checked the thermostat:  105 and 37% humidity, nearly perfect Bikram weather.  Hurricane Gustav has sucked all of the surrounding moisture out of the air, so the humidity has been very low outside.  So, maybe I'm just getting better acclimated to the room, or maybe the lower outdoor humidity is being kind to us.  Either way, I'm not complaining.

No comments: