Trekked over to Samadhi Yoga in Manchester yesterday for a 6:00 pm class with Matt. I was supposed to meet up with my buddy Alison and take a class together, but we miscommunicated (or rather, I did, I thought I had posted a note to her via Facebook but I did not, stupid since I do have her email and cell phone information!). I've heard wonderful things about Matt's class (met him briefly back when I was thinking about teacher training over there, but have never practiced with him). So it was a good chance to practice with someone new.
In any case, an interesting, All Levels class. Very pranayama focused - there is a little tendency (on my part) to see pranayama as a waste of good asana time. So a little bit of patience and letting the pranayama do its thing. I picked up a few interesting postures or ways of working, which add to my repetoire. However, I walked away with a tweaky lower back - Matt does a lot of "side to side" stuff that does not sit well with my body:
* Seated side bend and seated twist, back and forth with the breath and not sitting and breathing into one side
* A standing twist sequence that was similarly "jerky" - inhale up, exhale twist, inhale, exhale forward fold, inhale up, repeat other side. Not a lot of room or time to sink in to the twist or let it stew, and not a ton of prep work for what becomes a pretty deep posture.
* A sun salutation sequence - Surya Namaskar A but adding a twisted triangle on each side coming up. Again, just a quick "in and out" of the twist and a fairly rapid left right sequencing. My body just likes to get in there a little slower and soak into a particular side. The "left/right and back/forth" thing was not so good for me, I think my body needs to work into a particular side before getting into the deep twists, and to warm up with posture more (pranayama is fine for getting the body warm but not particular muscles groups)
Some forward fold pranayama at the end (kapalabati, uddiyana) - and more lower back stuff. Marcia's classes do the same thing to me, a lot of forward folding and right at the start of class, so I really have to warm up my lower back before class, and be conscious of it during.
Overall, I got very deep in the practice (a nice seated meditation just prior to savasana was a particularly nice touch), I really liked Matt's languaging and style, and I picked up a couple of interesting postures. But the sequencing and postures were just not all that good for this particular body. So, a good practice from a "know thyself" perspective, and I really do like to broaden my horizons with different styles and teachers, to keep from getting stale.
Hopefully, I'll get my rear end over there again some time - the rush hour drive through Hartford kind of bites, and it's hard to actually pay for yoga (I practice free down at WHY). But I do want to get together with Alison at some point....