Originally written by Zara M on 03 October 2013
This was an exciting weekend for me. Not only did I attend the weekly Sunday class, but I also attended the new Saturday Restorative Yoga4Tango Session with Franzi after the Tango classes and practica at Tango Garden, in order to get the full Tango/Yoga experience.
It was new and exciting to practice in a new venue with new faces, especially in the evening straight after the afternoon Tango. The session had a completely different vibe and structure. The experience was very continuous and calm, which suited the venue with its high ceilings, and windows looking out into the evening as night fell.
I thought that practicing yoga after dancing all afternoon would be a bit of a slog, but actually it was a wonderful come-down from the high-energy of Tango. We took everything nice and easy, and for newcomers it was the perfect yoga beginner’s class.
I went early to the Tango Garden intermediate class, and was then dancing for the length of the practica. It felt like after using my brain to concentrate and learn in the class, and then my body to dance in the practica, the yoga session at the end of the day allowed me to let go of all the frenetic energy, and focus instead on my soul. I don’t consider myself to be a very spiritual person, but yoga has a funny way of opening your mind to these things, if you let it.
The focus of the Saturday session was on breathing and fluidity, flowing through the sequences in an almost meditative state, rejuvenating the body and calming the mind. I really enjoyed it. The instructions were clear and mesmerising, and visually inspiring. My favourite part was at the end where we lay in the still silence and let everything melt away. Little tea lights were lit all around the edges of the hall, and with our eyes closed, we listened to the instructor’s hazy descriptions of fields, flowers and sky. I left feeling very satisfied, calm, and I have to say that I slept very well indeed!
As you can imagine, I felt particularly prepared for the class the next day. The Sunday Yoga4Tango session reinforced last week’s teachings. We were encouraged to experiment and explore fluid movements further by practicing the Ujjayi breath and ‘letting go’ of our muscle tension as we moved smoothly into each pose. First we went through the sequences in a structured manner and then we were set free to do it by ourselves, in our own time, counting our own breath and going from one pose to the next once we had prepared ourselves individually to move further on through the sequence.
I really like being given the freedom to move through the sequences independently. It feels very raw and natural and personal. Like I have a personal relationship with my body and the yoga itself, and we are having our own steady conversation through these fluid movements, with each of my muscles taking part in the conversation that is being led by my breath. I feel that when you bring your focus inward, you can completely surrender your body and your mind, and just go with the motion; a bit like allowing yourself to drift in water, back and forth, and mindfully moving each part of your body through the waves.
Goodness, listen to me! I sound like a free-spirited hippy, hee hee. It is a good feeling. I am looking forward to the midweek early morning Yoga4Tango practice session next week, and working on my Ujjayi breath. I have been finding it difficult because I have bit of a cough and the deep breathing triggers it and jerks me out of my poses, but we’ll see what happens.