This is a long overdue. I had intended to write my thoughts about attending a led class two or three weeks ago but these past few weeks are the busiest for me in the school calendar. Nonetheless, I think it is still worth writing about.
I learned asthanga vinyasa yoga by attending Mysore-style classes. I have always appreciated this type of class because it allows me to listen to my body and follow my instincts. In the past few months however, I found myself needing to attend led classes just to make sure I get to practice three or four times a week. Surprisingly, attending a led class provides a different perspective in the practice.
1. It takes me out of my comfort zone and pushes me to “work” harder. Since the teacher counts for us, I have to keep pace with her counting. This makes the breath more steady and even-paced.
2. It makes me more focused. One has to listen to the teacher’s count and instructions. This does not give my mind much time to wander and look around. During Mysore, my eyes tend to roam and watch others practice and then my mind starts to think of things like..”how does she do that?” or “when will I ever get to that level?”… During a led class, you listen to keep pace with the class.
3. I get to review the counts and the names of the asanas.
4. My endurance and stamina is 10-times more because 10 others are exerting and exuding energy that will carry you throughout the practice.
And although, I may have made the class sound serious and “military-ish”, it isn’t. We laugh during light moments (when our teacher counts 1, 2, 3, 3 and a half, 4, 4and a half… during navasana!). We get “breaks” (when our teacher binds each of us for marichyasana D and supta kurmasana).
Most importantly, the energy and learning is carried through to my next self-practice class. I am more inspired and motivated to have a better practice, to make my breath more steady, my movements more fluid and my mind more focused.
I attend led classes at Stillpoint Manila in Makati on Sundays at 4 pm. You must know the practice already to attend this class. Becky De Villa (aka Becky-ji) does this class so well. She counts in an even steady pace, gives adjustments (while keeping count!), gives techniques and binds you during “crucial” binding-asanas.
Try it! Om.