The yoga class that my gym offered today was rated "intermediate-advanced". This was enough to induce anxiety; sure, I’ve been doing yoga on and off since high school (yes, that’s like 1995, I had a VHS tape) but I’m not really sure what level I’m at, or what the levels even mean. I’m not a beginner. Intermediate? Maybe. Advanced? Definitely not.
So I went to the gym early and asked the gym staffer about the class. He said, "Well, I haven’t taken it, so I can’t really tell you." Helpful! But in the end, I figured that the worst thing that could happen was that I would fall over and spend the class in child’s pose, which honestly isn’t that bad so I went anyway.
Now, yesterday I was talking with my Indian coworker about my yoga class, and he told me that yoga in India was different from yoga in the US– he spoke of it as something that mostly old people do, sort of like how old people in China do tai chi in the park in the morning. Not the super-trendy, $100 yoga mat, type-A fit young person image we have here.
My teacher for class today was actually a young man from India (according to his bio, he’s a grad student at a local university, but has been studying yoga for a long time). The class started with some simple warmups– just moving the body around, rotating the wrists and ankles and moving the neck and shoulders. After 10 minutes of warming up, I was pretty sure that I had wandered into a yoga class like my coworker had described. But then we got started and I was quickly convinced otherwise.
Is there a proper name for one-legged upward-facing plank? I might call it "wtf pose".
The class was good though, I felt invigorated at the end. I guess I would call it intermediate, but the teacher was responsive to how we were all feeling and gave us a little time in child’s pose after some tough poses. It was a small group, 6 or 7 people total, so there was plenty of attention. Hopefully I can make it back another time!