Stress relief, Ashtanga, Yoga Wedge

The past week was gradually increasing in stress and worry, but for some magical reason after Yoga on Thursday I felt loads better. Well it probably wasn’t magical. Haha. What I first loved about yoga was that the practice always helped me let go of things like stress and worry. Stress can manifest itself physically in parts of the body. Most people hold stress in their shoulders so when you stretch and relieve that stress it makes you feel better. Anyway I guess something opened up and I let go of a lot of stress and just remembered that I am where I want to be in life. Not gonna lie it was also a lot of talking to friends and having their support get me through the day, so I will say it was both.

Friday night we did a whole class on assisting in poses and hands on adjustments. It was a lot of fun as we worked out the adjustments on each other. There are some pretty funky things you can do for people.

The Saturday class was an Ashtanga Yoga class. I am a big fan of this variation of Yoga. The difference here is that there are only 4 series. In vinyasa flow a teacher can put together their own sequence so the variation in classes in infinite. In Ashtanga it is set. I think the idea is that once you memorize the series you can have your own practice without the help of a teacher. The series is created to improve strength, flexibility, and balance for all parts of the body. Unlike vinayasa which can focus classes in any one area: hip opening, forward folds, side stretching, etc. We did the Primary series which took us 3 hrs because our instructor gave a lot of detail. Usually it would take a single person 2 hours to go through the entire sequence once. It was awesome and nuts. I like it because I feel more balanced after the class. If you think regular vinyasa is a full body work out, then give Ashtanga a try.

What was also great this weekend was that I started jumping into my chaturangas. So rewind. Mid summer I developed carpal tunnel syndrome in my hands. I stopped doing Yoga to give it a break, but it wasn’t quite 100% back to normal when I started the training. So my instructors told me to get a wedge. You use it for any pose where you lay your hands flat like down dog. It takes most of the weight off your wrists and strengthens your hands. The entire length of the training I have been using this, and modifying all my poses to put little to no stress on my wrists. I’m doing much better and for most of the Ashtanga class I was able to forego the wedge completely and jump into my chaturangas. It felt glorious. Imagine if you had surgery on your leg and had to play your favorite sport at 70% for 3 months. The day you get back and feel 100% is a glorious feeling.

Everything is glorious!

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