Hot Yoga last night. It is a singularly uncool and unyoga-ish thing to compare yourself to others, but there were a couple of young guys fairly unschooled in the yoga thing in class last night. And as I watched them struggle with the postures (one was behind me, so I ended up dristi'd in his direction a lot, especially in downdog), I was struck by how far I have come. It was a "wow - I really can do this" moment, as I moved through the sun salutations. I sort of felt myself being really rigorous in my postures, just because I figured the guys would be looking around the room for direction. Kind of interesting change of perspective from student to teacher, if only by example.
The young men seemed fit and strong and healthy - their struggles were in the twister-like "right foot here, left hand there" aspects of the postures, in the flexibility aspects, and in the general body-awareness involved in seeing a posture and getting your body into the same configuration. Downdog seemed to be just really hard for them to get, I kind of felt bad - their downdogs were more like push-ups - not a place of rest and reconnection, which it has become for me.
Must be a guy thing to jump into a hot yoga class. I skulked around the intro classes, the gentle classes, and the all levels classes for months before poking my nose into a hot class, and even then I sort of ratcheted up with the teachers I knew and was comfy with before stepping into the uber-hot-class where students end up looking like they have been soaked with a fire hose.
To her credit, my instructor rocked in terms of moving the class while spending some time with the new folks. It was one of her better hot classes, I really got some heat going. I did a few extra things during extended downdogs, but really, she worked us. Go her.
Again, great for them to be trying yoga. Mostly, just a realization for myself that this is something I can do, reasonably well. I feel a lot less like the newcomer in the room, all of a sudden.