thunderstorms and shoulderopeners

last week on friday there was a huge storm. i wanted to get into my 1230 yoga class but my schedule didnt allow it. i decided to take the 230 community class instead. community classes are pay what you can and recent yoga school graduates teach them to practice their teaching style. i try not to be picky at my studio, but i definitely have my favorite teachers. and i never seem to want to go to the community classes. but in an attempt to not be snobbish i decided that it wasnt the teacher that made the class but my attitude when i came to it. and i decided to go. the teachers name was Hannah and i had seen her around the studio before. she ran over to me before class started and confessed she was very nervous. you could even hear it in voice as it quivered slightly. but as soon as the class started all that seemed to be gone. her class was one of the best id taken in years and i felt foolish even thinking i could decide which teacher would be the one that inspired me. it was almost like she knew exactly what kind of class i needed and gave it to me on a platter. it started slow with lots of hip openers and built slowly still in to a full blown warrior path. i was in the front row looking out over sixth avenue and as i leaned back into my first peaceful warrior, it started pouring. not just pouring but full blown thunder and lightning storming. it was so invigorating feeling all the energy in the room mix with the energy of new york and the energy of the storm. and just when i thought the class couldnt get any better she showed me this shoulder opener. i think everyone needs these. everyone constantly being on their computers, shoulders slumped forward, closing off their chests and their hearts. it was just a warm up to Dahmurasana, or Bow pose, it felt soo amazingly good. I just have to recommend it to anyone who feels their posture getting to the better of them or just wants an excuse to open their shoulders and chest.

The set up is very simple, lie on your tummy with your hands at your side. To start opening your left shoulder first, place it palm down out to the side of you like a "T". Then just role over onto your left side with your arm underneath you and your chest open to the right. Bending your right knee and placing your right foot on the floor helps stabilize the pose and there are many variations you can do with your right hand. you can curl it up and over your body opening up your chest even more or simply place it on your right hip for stability. IT FEELS AMAZING. when your done you can just roll back on your belly and open up your other side.

After the juicy shoulder openers and some locust pose and bow pose, we breezed past where the wheel portion of the class would be and proceeded into forward bends. Its not that I dont like wheel, its just sometimes its a little rough on my wrists. Then, Hannah said the remainder of class would be restorative. i was sooooo excited. A supported bridge, wide legged pose with my forehead on a block, supported forward bends.... ahhhhh, delightful. After a short meditation session, I hit Shavasana, she put on some ocean waves and I literally felt like i was laying like a starfish on the bottom of the ocean. i was soo blissed out. And when I made it outside it was sunny. And still smelled like rain. I proceeded to my lunch of cookies and kale with a smile never seen on a NY city street. And I will never underestimate a community class again.