Sunday, March 22, 2009
Pilgrimage to Champaign-Urbana
Some people might wonder why I traveled 2 hours and 45 minutes to take a 1.5 hour yoga class with Lois Steinberg this weekend. The answer is that the yoga is really good. It was also a good time on a road trip with friends, and a great excuse to get out of the city for a bit.
The instruction was precise, and I was definitely “on” as I felt like I was on an adventure—not quite to India yet, but still an adventure. In Urdhva Dhanurasana I remember lifting my upper femur (thigh) bones and my spine opened with ease toward the strength in my arms. Also it felt like my shoulder blades were one-third of the way down my back, really allowing my shoulders to open over my wrists. Or maybe I was just high. One of the effects of a backbending practice is that it makes you feel great.
At the end of class, Lois talked about how people get high on backbends. She also said that as we age that we should practice more backbends. And backbends can be helpful for shifting out of a depressed state. But in the end when we are residing in the benefits of constant practice, backbends can actually be relaxing.
I definitely felt high from the backbends, but on the way home felt profoundly relaxed and satisfied with the trip.