At the sound of my 6 a.m. alarm Wednesday, I sat upright and was immediately aware of some long-dormant, now-aching muscles in my back and shoulders. Even my armpits were in agony after previous day’s session at Sangha Studio.
Figuring I would crumple if I attempted another chaturanga, I chose to go for a run, putting off yoga until the evening. Trotting through the slush, I realized that, for first time since my back mishap, my hamstrings didn’t feel like rubber bands about to snap.
For Day 2, I chose a 6:35 p.m. session at the Burlington YMCA. I was curious to see how a fitness center class would compare to a studio one. Also, I was looking for a place where I wouldn’t stick out for my lack of lululemon attire.
If ambiance is your thing, the YMCA gym leaves something to be desired. In lieu of incense, prayer flags and Buddha statues, it has punching bags, basketball hoops and cinderblock walls.
An ebullient woman named Meg dimmed the harsh lights and explained that she was subbing for the regular instructor, Heidi, so we wouldn’t be doing the usual Sivananda routine.
Mercifully for my aching muscles, the 90-minute routine was lower key than Tuesday’s “Morning Flow.” More stretching, less strengthwork. For 20 minutes in the middle, people either meditated or did sun salutations.
Both the music, which ranged from Eric Clapton to Sanskrit singing, and the motions were eclectic. At one point, Meg, noting that this was not a traditional yoga pose, instructed us to act like a dog shaking itself dry. Obediently, I twitched and convulsed. I felt more like someone in the throes of an epileptic seizure than a dog, but it did seem to loosen my joints.
The group of 10 was eclectic, too — in age, gender and ethnicity. Sure enough, cotton, rather than Lycra, was the fabric of choice.
At one point a bald man humbled us all, nimbly unfolding his legs into a headstand while we attempted a more conservative stance. It left me feeling strangely hopeful: Maybe someday I’ll be as limber as that middle-aged man.
Yoga Week runs through February 28. Find out more here.