In my class yesterday, I remembered how yoga can stir up my emotions–sometimes in unpleasant ways.

It was a new teacher this time, a guy who has been a student at Yoga East and has just started teaching classes there. I know that every teacher is different. However, I’ve been to the Friday morning Hatha class several times before and was used to a more layed-back style. Longer times in the poses, and a few breaks in the class to rest and listen to instruction. This is what I was expecting yesterday, but it was not what I got. This time, it was a very fast paced, flow style class that was more like the Ashtanga classes I used to attend regularly than any Hatha class. More effort. And my little inner voice was running constantly–this is not what I intended to do today!

I was emotionally distressed throughout the whole class. I felt like my inner spoiled brat was wanting to throw a tantrum at all the effort I was being asked to make! It was actually a very good class.  I found that I am getting stronger in the upper body than I was just a few months ago, and there was only one pose in the whole class that I was just unable to do. I even tried out doing the wheel pose for the first time–can’t get my arms straight yet, but I’m getting closer. We did a lot of dolphin pose (which is one I couldn’t even manage for a second back when I first tried it.) We also did lord of the dance, with a strap of course since I (nor anyone else in the class apparently) can not reach up behind my head and grab one of my feet. And it felt wonderful!

So why the emotional messiness? Not sure, other than the class messing with my expectation. Due to stuff like this, one of the things yoga is teaching me is not to be controlled by my emotions. Sometimes you just have to keep going, even if you don’t feel like it. It makes good practice for all the times I have to make an effort when I really don’t feel like it–like at work. I am glad that I stuck with the class. Even though I am rather sore today from the exertion.