Hello from Chicago! The boyfriend and I have been running around like crazy, so I haven’t had too much chance to blog. You’ll be happy to know that I plucked up the courage to go to a yoga class at the studio across from the hotel the other day and had a good experience (nothing mind blowing, but nothing negative either). I decided that since it was right here and I’m more likely to attend classes, I’d already paid for, I would go for the 3 class new student deal for $25 (drop-ins were $18 so even if I only went once more it’d be a good deal.) Note to all traveling yogis – most studios have a bargain like this, so make sure to ask!
Today, I decided to take my 2nd class and headed over this morning. I got to the studio about 10 minutes early so I could talk to the teacher about my various injuries/issues and the huge yoga room was empty. I set myself up with my multitude of props, did a little supta padangustasana to release my back and hips and waited for the other students to arrive.
10:00am came and went and no one else came into the room. Hmmm…
At 10:02, the teacher came in and closed the door. I was the only person there. Helllooooo impromptu private yoga class!
First thought: PANIC! Second thought: SCORE!
I’ve taught a few of these, so I know how intimidating it can be to have the teacher’s entire focus and attention. It’s a wonderful opportunity though, especially since private yoga classes can range anywhere from $75-$150 per session. If I had known the teacher, I would have been over the moon. (As an aside, I did feel a little bad for her – not knowing if she was paid by the student or not…) Because of the uncertainty I mentioned earlier this week, I was cautious, but the teacher, Tatiana, gave me a big smile and introduced herself and we chatted a bit. She asked the right questions and when I revealed that I was a teacher, she seemed excited.
I talked to her about the various problems I’m having with my feet and ankles and she promised me some good foot work in the class. Boy did she deliver. Tatiana showed me a few tricks to release my ankles that worked like a charm. She was also mindful of the fatigue in my feet when I held standing poses too long and made sure I had time to rest and shake out any tension in between sequences.
When we did a shoulder opener I hadn’t seen before, I mentioned that many of my students had shoulder issues and she made it a point to go through many more shoulder openers throughout the class repeating them several times until I was sure I had it right. This kind of generosity and sharing from teacher to teacher is so special and rare. I am so grateful.
I loved her sequences, but my favorite part of the class was the last 20 minutes or so. I mentioned that I had been spending a lot of time in cars and could use some hip openers. Tatiana took me through a fantastic floor sequence that started with a version of lizard pose that lengthened my psoas and opened my hip flexors, then moved into a floor twist/shoulder opener and backbend (more or less natarajasana on your side). I then moved into half dhanurasana (need to do this pose more often), which stimulated my digestive organs, which I needed so badly after all the eating out we’ve been doing and then finished with a lateral bend. Basically the perfect vacation sequence.
The class ran long, so I got 1.75 hours of completely unexpected yoga awesomeness. Tatiana clearly knows her stuff and though her style is quite different than mine, I loved the experience, kindness and knowledge she brought to the practice and shared with me. Thank you so much to Tatiana Sanchez and Yoga Now Chicago for an amazing experience.