For a while I had been brainstorming about what I wanted to change about my yoga practice.
Bikram is great but I need something to keep me from going a little insane. I can’t keep going from Overdose into Mindfuck, something’s gotta give. When I’m in my Overdose I feel great, lose about 5 pounds of water weight in five classes and I am drug-like blissed out on yoga, but eventually either my body gets too sore, I get too busy or my mind just goes “NO“, and I kind of slump down for a while.
If I were a normal person that would be fine. For me it turns into a Mindfuck. Because OBVIOUSLY if I don’t go six days a week I am an inadequate yogi* who should just donate her yoga mat to an orphan and needs to hang up an IV-drip of chocolate milkshake to drown her sorry and soon-to-be-fat ass. Yes, I am fairly insane. Feel free to donate for therapy.
I wanted balance, and ideally something to infuse my yoga with. Something to extend and deepen my practice while at the same time creating more harmony between my Yoga Days and Lazy Days Without Crazy. Then I got an email from Yoga Maya.
Yoga Maya is a yoga studio 10 minutes from my house. Last summer, I tried out some classes and I also did the backbend workshop there. As usual I skimmed through its monthly newsletter when I read “Needed: Karma Yogini.”
More or less, Karma Yoga means yoga through service or selfless doing. In this case, if anyone was interested in cleaning the yoga studio for a few hours a week to earn free yoga classes, they would be a Karma Yogini. Um, done and done. I instantly replied to the yoga teacher with an email titles ‘Karma Yogini Reporting For Duty’. After some correspondence and a quick meet, I was walking around respectfully dusting altars (not even joking) and mopping beautiful wooden floors in exchange for yoga classes.
Because I decided that I am not too good for anything. I will do whatever needs to be done.
Yes, I will clean two hours a week if that means I can have extra yoga classes.
No, I don’t mind staying up until 3 in the morning making and editing videos for my friend.
Yes, I will go to work to hand in some paperwork, even though vacation time has started. Just because it will save a few coworkers some time. Just because I want to be nice.
I’m not too good to do anything. Not when it comes to the things that are important to me. So yes, I will clean the yoga studio for free yoga classes.
This is the yoga room. Yoga Maya has a very laidback vibe to it – even though I don’t know that many people there, I feel pretty comfortable. Which is great because I’ve already fallen down three or four times during yoga classes. Now it was only Quite Embarassing as opposed to Completely Mortifying.
Asthanga is no longer my favorite non-Bikram yoga style. Like Bikram yoga it is a sequence of yoga posture, but somehow it still feels so different. Intense in another way. I like it fine, I just rather do Feldenkrais, Sivananda or Iyengar right now.
I like Feldenkrais, which is not so much yoga but body awareness exercises. All you have to do is pay attention to the words of the teachers and the sensations in your body. When the teacher told us to get up the 60-minute class was finished; Hilariously, I was convinced I had only been on the floor for 15 minutes for a warm-up.
Sivananda, switching between effortful postures and relaxing postures, is very relaxing as well.
Iyengar yoga can be intense (oh dear Lord warrior poses are going to be the death of me) but the teacher also incorporated some breathing exercises and energy-related exercises that I really liked.
I guess right now I prefer the leisurely classes now over the intense ones. At the moment I am aiming for 2-3 classes at Maya and 4-5 classes at Bikram. And even if I skip a class or only go for 1 at Maya and 3 at Bikram, I don’t want to punch myself in the face anymore. So hey, possible progress. Good for me.After sweating like an idiot while busting my ass for ninety minutes I like to mix it up with some more chilled out yoga classes.
Anyway, if you want to know what the different classes are about in the words of actual yoga teachers at Maya, you can always click here to see for yourself.
The yoga studio is very cute, as you can see above. They have a nice lounging area where people sit and talk while drinking tea, with loads of cool books and yoga props in their little store. There is great diversity in teachers and classes, which is why I was attracted to this school in the first place.
They’re doing a Summer Special right now, which means you can come and do unlimited yoga for a month. I did that last year and I think it’s a cool non-commital way to sniff out different yoga classes and see what you like.
If you’re Rotterdam-based
and aren’t creepy, you should really check it out — and come say ‘hi’ to me when you’re there. You can also do one class (10 euros) or a week of classes (15 euros) if you want to! Check out the Summer Special offer and the schedule below.
Okay, I hope you guys have a great weekend! I am going out for Chinese food with my family tonight, which is fun: Great food that I accidentally spill on my (probably white) shirt, counting how many times per 15 minutes the sweet Chinese lady comes by to serve us more rice*, talking about music with my 13-year old boy cousin and pathetically trying to be hip. Looking forward to it.
*Current record is 5, I think. Keep you posted.