Friday, February 4, 2011


556 classes (19 advanced) in 538 days.

Various things inspire me (or not) in class and thought I would list five of each here. I’m sure everyone has their own list.

Things that inspire me:

1) Heat. Not to be confused with excessive humidity, but there’s nothing I love more in class than a nice hot room. As discussed numerous times in my blog, I love the heat. Warms up my muscles and joints and makes for a productive and happy class.
2) A favorite teacher. I make no secret about the fact that I will try harder when one of my favorite teachers is teaching. At this point my favorite teachers all know my practice really well and can tell if I’m slacking off and they often don’t even have to say anything. They can just give me a look and I’ll correct things.
3) Being surrounded by people with a really good practice. Teachers talk about energy in the room all the time and it’s completely true. It’s palpable and when I’ve got really got people around me, I have a better class.
4) Having new people behind me. I blogged about this recently, but having new people watch me always will force me to concentrate more and work hard, even if I don’t feel too good that day.
5) Major drama. Kind of an odd one, but if there’s a lot of drama in the room, lots of people sitting out or leaving the room, it gives me an incentive to work harder. Maybe to give them more energy, I don’t know, but when I see people dying on their mats I get inspired.

Things that don’t inspire me:

1) Cold. This is a deal breaker for me. If it’s cold in the room I can’t get very motivated. I even have a whole way that I do class if it’s too cold. Basically I just work on the form for each posture and don’t worry about depth. And I try to avoid getting injured.
2) Bad teaching. If the teacher has no energy, poor dialogue, etc. then I just check out mentally. Not very common, but it does happen.
3) Low energy around me. This is hard to quantify because it doesn’t necessarily mean having new people around me, or even drama. Sometimes you’re just surrounded by people with no energy. Maybe they just don’t have energy that day, but it’s contagious.
4) Food problems. This can consist of being too hungry, or having some bad food earlier in the day. I’ve become good at figuring out what to eat and when before classes so I don’t run into this problem too much anymore.
5) Morning classes. For me this means any class before 1 PM. I’ve gotten much better at morning classes but I think I’ll always prefer the night. I’m looser and have had all day to hydrate. It’s hard to do either before a 9 AM class. And 9 AM is the earliest I’ve even taken. My studio offers 5:30 AM and 7:00 AM classes and I think you’d have to pay me a lot of money to take one of those.



  1. "Basically I just work on the form for each posture and don't worry about depth."

    This pretty much sums up my home practice, even though the past two nights I've had my little room well over 90°. Since I tend toward flexibility to begin with, working on the form is HUGELY important, anyway.

    I SO agree about being inspired when surrounded by people with a good practice. I mentioned this last week to someone - "I love practicing next to you, you're so strong!" - and I think she was weirded out. The community at my NY studio is nothing like my studio in Utah. :(

    Maybe early classes are your next challenge? :P

  2. Catherine - Practicing at home is tricky. I was very happy when I could finally do the postures at room temp. I think it's a good barometer of how you've progressed. I HAD to get better at the postures in normal temps in order to compete, but I'll always love the heat.

    As for practicing early, we'll see...