I’ve been going to classes lately at Yoga Samatva in Kingston, and the class I was in most recently was the most relaxing, while leaving me totally energized. All because of about five “supported” poses. I think the class was called “Subtle Energy and Relaxation.”
The supports came from the blocks, blankets, pillows, and bolsters we used to support our bodies while transitioning into the different poses. Our instructor Laurel provided guidance, assistance, gentle touch, and support as needed. As a newcomer in the class I think I got more help than others, and I was most appreciative for it.
Yoga is an interesting practice that can be done alone or in a group, and it can be as deep and spiritual as you want to make it. Some people practice meditation in conjunction with or in addition to the yoga practice. I don’t usually. For me, it’s about stretching my body, exercise, and relaxing. I’ve been to many types of classes, and tried various yoga practices and poses. This was by far the easiest, and one that I want to now combine with practices that are a bit more vigorous and challenging. One of my favourites is Hot Yoga, and I mean HOT!
The room is heated to about 38 or 40 degrees (Celsius) and you gently move through a series of poses. Sweat pours from everywhere and you are left dripping and glowing. A towel on the mat helps to absorb some but the teacher still cautions to watch your step because the floor gets slippery. This is not for everyone, and given that I don’t like humid weather I am surprised I enjoy this class as much as I do.
While there are yoga teachers and a new yoga studio in Napanee, I don’t know that hot yoga is available here so I will continue to make the drive to Kingston. I have the mat, the blocks, and other supports at home but having the support of the teacher and the other yoga practitioners in a class setting works better for me. And we all need a little support.
Have you tried yoga? Tell me about your experiences.
I wrote the above piece on Thursday, June 2 (but hadn’t posted it yet) before I got a call telling me that my cousin Brett Kane had died of a sudden heart attack. One month shy of his 45th birthday,Brett was the youngest of my Uncle Bob’s three children, and Uncle Bob is the youngest of my mother’s eight siblings, the only one still living. The family tree is large, with my 21 first cousins, and their kids, and grandkids, filling out its branches.
Many of us will gather to honour and remember Brett, and to support Brett’s immediate family. We will take time from our work, and our lives, for the wake and funeral, because this is what this family does. We’ve been through this too many times, but we always know that we are all there for each other. We will laugh, we will cry, and we will support each other—because at times like this, we really need all the support we can get.