Yoga – The Backwards Saga to become a Yogi

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I don’t really know why it started. One day, I saw someone doing a Shirshasana on a paddle board when I was just chillin at the beach. Seeing that  made me think – “How hard it could be to do a headstand on a paddle board?”  Well… I had to figure that out alone and  I decided to try it right there!  Never done such a thing before!!!!!! My friend looked at me with that face of ‘ what the heck are you doing’ but I didn’t care. I know, we were in a public beach, with a bunch of people around, I was wearing a bikini… but I was also very curious to find out If I could ever do it. Curiosity KILLS me all the time. If I think I can, I will give it a TRY. And I did. No shame. Failed every single time. That was just the beginning of the Saga, around February of 2014.                                                                                            If you wonder why I call it SAGA, I will try to explain. When I first did a headstand, I was again in public, I stayed up in position for about 2-3 seconds, (just to take a photo). My pose was wrong: shoulders not in triangle position,  my legs were open, I could not keep my balance for too long. Over all, I was trying to do something that, one usually learn how to do it when they are about to master the yoga, after years of practicing yoga.   As usual, I was once again doing something I had no idea. And I used to post photos with this special hashtag #IDoNotDoYoga or #ImNotAYogaPerson. (Yep… you can check my instagram, you will find the photos under those tags).  How many times people saw me doing headstands and they said – ‘wooooow that’s some yoga master!’ And I used to answer right away, still upside down – ‘I don’t do yoga!’ – Anyone’s face would just look very confused with my answer. – How in this world can you possibly learn “this”  without attending yoga?     Believe and it will happen, that is all I say. After about 5 months, I decided to get a yoga mat and start to practice and train how to do a headstand at home. By that point, a very nice friend told me how to position the arms and shoulder correctly and also told me to keep legs together and toes ponting.  My intention was to first, use a wall in order to keep my balance and not fall. Guess what happened? I never used the wall!!  I set up my gopro camera that day, so I could get some nice fail videos of my headstands but that never happened. When the headstand happened,  I figured how to hold and keep balance. And slowly I started to do different poses, moving legs and sometimes the hips too. And of course, after getting confidence that I could really do this, I started to do headstands everywhere! At the beach, at the park, at the track, pharmacies… and you name it, I’ll do it and I don’t care about my surroundings.

Joining the Run Club group, I got to meet lots of healthy and nice people. (WARNING – Just know,  those people tend to change your mind and convince you to do things you have never done before! – It happened to me, true story) Anyways, I knew that, at one point, I would ended up changing that hashtag and practicing some Yoga for real.  And  so it happened. One day, someone said: put down the camera today, I need you to enjoy this class. And I followed. It was really hard to reach for my toes and do some other poses that usually looks very simple but it’s actually really hard!  but I did not give up. And the worse happened: it’s addictive. So, I kept attending yoga, I found that every yoga class is different. Some are relaxing and easy, others are more intense and difficult. After all, it’s all Yoga right? So where are those names from?

I started to figure it out after I was invited to have 30 day free pass for a new Yoga Studio in Wynwood (Love Life Wellness Center) and here is what I am learning or better,”figuring it out”, how Yoga can be different.

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Love Life Wellness Center – Nirvana Room (Hot Yoga)

Here is a list with a few yoga styles and their names. (the following information was found at – http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8622/14-styles-of-yoga-explained-simply.html )

Anusara: Anusara is often described as Iyengar (a purist form of yoga) with a sense of humor.

Ashtanga: Six established and strenuous pose sequences. Ashtangis move rapidly, flowing from one pose to the next with each inhale and exhale. Each series of poses linked by the breath this way is called a vinyasa.

Bikram: Bikram features yoga poses in a sauna-like room. The heat is cranked up to nearly 105 degrees and 40 percent humidity in official Bikram classes.

Hatha: “hatha” encompasses nearly all types of modern yoga.

Iyengar: Appropriate for all ages and abilities, Iyengar yoga is all about precise alignment and deliberate sequencing.

Jivamukti: A physical, limit-pushing practice that reintegrates yoga’s traditional spiritual elements in an educational way for Western practitioners.

Kripalu: Kripalu is a three-part practice that teaches you to get to know, accept, and learn from your body.

Kundalini: The practice of kundalini yoga features constantly moving, invigorating poses. The fluidity of the practice is intended to release the kundalini (serpent) energy in your body.

Prenatal: Yoga postures carefully adapted for expectant mothers.

Restorative: Less work, more relaxation. You’ll spend as many as 20 minutes each in just four or five simple poses. There’s also psychic cleansing: the mind goes to mush and you feel brand new.

Sivananda: An unhurried yoga practice that typically focuses on the same 12 basic asanas or variations thereof every time, bookended by sun salutations and savasana.

Viniyoga: A highly individualized practice in which yogis learn to adapt poses and goals to their own needs and abilities. Vini actually means differentiation, adaptation, and appropriate application

Vinyasa / Power:  Power yoga doesn’t stick to the same sequence of poses each time like ashtanga does, so the style varies depending on the teacher. Classes called “vinyasa” or “flow” in your gym or studio can be vastly different but in general stem from this movement and from ashtanga as well.

Yin: A quiet, meditative yoga practice, also called taoist yoga. Yin focuses on lengthening connective tissues and is meant to complement yang yoga—your muscle-forming Anusara, ashtanga, Iyengar, or what have you. Yin poses are passive, meaning you’re supposed to relax muscles and let gravity do the work. And they’re long — you’ll practice patience here too.

Woof! Are you still there? These are just some of the Yoga Styles, I guess the most popular ones. But I know there are a lot more (and you can find more info online like I did.)

Now, If you ever decide to take a ‘shot of yoga’ one day, I also recommend: let the instructor know if it’s your first time (they love to know that and they will do their best to make you feel comfortable during the class).Be concentrated and focused in yourself during the class, everyone around you are probably focused on themselves and believe me, nobody cares if you are doing something ‘different’. You might get some help from the instructors to fix your pose but usually not from another yogi. How many times I was  ‘lost’ in the position and nobody ever told me anything? a bunch! Nobody is there to judge you or anyone else so focus! I also practice a lot of yoga in open places like parks and malls. Obviously, you will have lots of eyes watching you in this case, but remember, they may not do yoga and also can’t tell if you are doing anything ‘different’ (I say different to not say the word wrong, cause there is nothing wrong in yoga) Beginners or Masters, we are all in process of learning in each class.

See you at the next big yoga events around Miami. You never know where I will pop-up next!

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Merrick Park

 

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