I hit the 0900 yoga class this morning. It was interesting. Even though I have done yoga before (ashtanga, vinyasa, "gentle") I've never done Iyengar, which is what Harmony Yoga does. This was also a new place for me, of course. On my way to the studio I thought about how many times I've been in the position of being new and awkward at something since mid-January of this year, when my new career as a grad student started. You'd think I'd be used to it by now. At least I am getting used to telling myself that the anticipation is worse than the actual experience and everything will be fine. So, I went. The teacher, Brit, a lady in her late 40s or early 50s, I'd guess, was fantastic--involved in everybody's practice, made sure she was checking in with those of us who were new to her class, and demonstrated every sequence before coaching us through it. Iyengar yoga is known for its extensive use of props--all the blocks, belts, bolsters and blankets that you may have seen in yoga studios but never or rarely used, they use them all. Prepping for class was sort of a mystery to me. In addition to 2 or 3 folded blankets, 2 blocks, a belt, and for some a bolster pillow, most people had a folding chair next to their mats at the beginning of class, which totally puzzled me. I grabbed all the other things, but not the chair. Just when I was trying to figure out if it was "optional" or "mandatory" for this class, someone came over and brought me a chair. Guess it's not optional. I've never really used props in a yoga class before--sort of the ego thing, "I don't need those things" kind of attitude I suppose. This yoga doesn't go for that kind of ego thing. Props are used to get the ideal alignment, and I went with it, and although it was perhaps a little more rigid than I've experienced with ashtanga style yoga before, I liked it. The one thing I missed was inverted poses, but this was a Level 1 class I attended. Tomorrow is an open house at the studio, and there's a late morning Level 1-2 class that I'd like to try out.
The rest of the day, I didn't accomplish quite as much as I had planned. I went to a coffee shop and studied for a little while. Then I went to a local fabric shop to get fabric for a new bag for my yoga mat. I actually saw the wife of one of the junior students there--it took us a while to realize where we "knew" each other from, but we figured it out. Then I went out to a movie (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, cute) and dinner with my girls from school. Tomorrow, I make A&P my bitch, as my classmate Connie would say. Sunday is more studying for the big airway exam on Tuesday.
I did check out some of Jeff Galloway's tips for beginner runners on Runner's World and on his website. Lots of great info for the newbie runner on there! I think I will buy his book (Galloway's Book on Running, I think, considered the "runner's bible") and check out his methods. In brief, he is a big fan of frequent walk breaks during a run, and insists that even top marathoners can train on 3 runs a week, including 1 long weekly run. His method would have me walking MUCH more than I am currently. I thought I was going easy, but his method would have me backing off a lot. He says his method prevents overuse injuries, and he's been running for 50 years now, including being an Olympic runner. He says he hasn't had an overuse injury in almost 30 years. So, based on all the reviews of his books and all the blogs that point his way, I'll give his method a try. Meanwhile, this gets me back to 3 days a week of running. What to do on the other days? Is swimming okay? Yoga certainly should be. 2 days a week of weights and running, 1 additional running day, 1 yoga day and a day of swimming? That would be 5 days. That sounds more balanced than what I've been doing, and hopefully would prevent me overtraining. Training for what? I don't know yet. Perhaps nothing, but perhaps...?