This past Saturday I was fortunate enough to take a personalized yoga class in a beautiful Connecticut park. We were there to celebrate one of my lifelong friends whose awesome husband arranged for the class. I was excited to be a part of the group because I love my friend, and the yoga was really just a plus. That was before I met Alanna and experienced one of the best yoga classes of my life…not joking. As we sat on our mats with the sun warming our backs, Alanna centered us with her steady voice and focused prose. I set my intention to be present and stay with my breath. I tried to push any doubt from my mind since I haven’t been to a class in quite some time and was questioning my ability. My first yoga teacher used to say, “This is not a competition. Stay within yourself, stay with your breath, do not judge.” I repeated that sentiment to myself on Saturday morning, and it worked.
As we moved through the poses I remembered some of the reasons why I love yoga so much.
1) There is no other “sport” or physical activity in which I am truly present.
2) Connecting my breathing with my movements keeps me focused on my overall being. When I experience discomfort, I used my breath to work through it.
3) I feel stronger as I move through the flow, rather than weaker like I do when running (I do understand why this is, but my point is it’s just more enjoyable for me).
4) The warm-up, hard work, stretching, and decompression are all built into the practice. No need to “stretch before hand” or “cool down” when you’re finished. It’s like having a built-in trainer even when you’re doing it alone at home!
I needed some reminders for a few poses, and I definitely felt the effects of plowing through the series, but it was so much more than worth it. Alanna lead a powerful class without being abrasive or competitive. She was sweet and supportive, and truly in tune with each of us. I am already trying to think of another reason to justify taking a personal class with her!
If you’re interested in taking classes with Alanna, she teaches at The Yoga Shop based out of South Windsor. While that is a bit too far for me to attend on a regular basis, there is a studio in Old Saybrook as well. If you’ve never been, I am telling you, give it a try. Or just Google “yoga in the park” and get out there!
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