Yesterday I went to ropes yoga (at my local studio Artemis Yoga) after a very long break (mainly because of scheduling conflicts). It was exciting and a little nervous-making to be back; I’m still recovering from cold and bronchitis and a month of very little physical activity, so I’m definitely not operating at full strength. But I love this practice—it appeals to my inner 8-year-old who enjoys climbing, hanging upside down, and trying new things.
The teacher, Pam, is a great instructor. She’s attentive, very knowledgeable, and offers loads of modifications in a low-key way. She also keeps the class moving at a good pace, which is not always easy when you’re using a lot of props (blocks, blankets, sometimes chairs) and moving ropes around and tying knots.
This class for me was an exercise in acceptance:
acceptance that I’m not recovered from this chest cold/bronchitis, so I can’t exert myself as much as I would like;
acceptance that my strength/conditioning are what they are at this moment, which will determine what my ropes practice is today;
acceptance that my body has a history of injuries (shoulder surgery for rotator cuff tear, to name one) and vulnerabilities and hard limits (there are some poses my body flat-out refuses to do);
acceptance of being seen and being helped while doing this practice– I was feeling a bit dizzy, so didn’t do the headstand inversion; instead Pam suggested a standing rag doll pose on the wall that felt good.
I didn’t take any pictures yesterday, so I’m reblogging my previous ropes yoga post so you can see how things are set up. I highly recommend this kind of class if you have an opportunity and like to climb and explore space, limits and what your body might be able to do with them.
I’ve been going to yoga classes off and on since my early 30s, when my friend Deb and I decided to celebrate finishing our dissertations with a hatha yoga class (not very wild and crazy, I know, but anything seems exciting compared to dissertation writing). My attention turned back to yoga in January when I started going to a local studio (Artemis Yoga in Watertown, MA) that is a 10-minute walk from my house. Again, it was motivated by a friend (Norah this time—what would we do without supportive friends?)
I’ve been loving and appreciating yoga for its focus on where my body is right now, the attention to thoughts, feelings and sensations, and the choices it offers for adjusting the intensity of the experience.
Which is why taking a ropes yoga class—also called Kurunta Yoga—was irresistible. And it didn’t disappoint.
“Kurunta” means “puppet”, and in this…
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