The problem with an addiction, as any smoker, alcoholic, or licorice lover can attest; is that you need more of what you crave just to maintain. If you want to bump up your high, you’ve got to increase the dose.
Although I love sweets and have to curtail my Coke Zeros to two a day, I never really thought of myself as an addictive personality until I started taking yoga seriously. Five years ago a ninety-minute Bikram class left me feeble and famished, but once the sweat evaporated, I was euphoric. I went every day; I loved my groove. There were so many opportunities to deepen my practice, my craving kept in line with my healthy addiction. Somewhere during year two I would have classes that left me feeling good, but not great. Occasionally, I’d have a bad class; I’d walk out sore instead of shimmering.
I took to the occasional double –which always rekindled the magic. Then last fall I decided enough of the heat and the pain and I transferred to CorePower. CorePower is more gentle, more fun, more holistic, more integrated yoga. But it’s less sweat. It helps me feel good, sometimes great, but never euphoric. Until yesterday.
CorePower offers four types of classes and yesterday my asana buddy Tyler and I took them all. I started with 6:00 am Scuplt, yo-robics led by the indomitable Shira. Despite being retired, I set my alarm every Monday and Tuesday morning because Shira’s workout beats mere sleep any day. Tyler joined me for 7:15 am C2, which is a 95 degree, steamy intermediate yoga class that varies by instructor. Yesterday Malissa was all twists and shoulders, much needed since the snowy, freezing winter has made us Cantabridgians uncharacteristically tense. My experience of these classes was not unique – pairing these back-to-back is my usual Monday routine.
Mid day I got a text from Tyler – he’d gone to the 9:30 a.m. Sculpt was up for rounding out the CorePower curriculum with two evening classes.
Hot Power Fusion is my favorite of all CorePower classes; like Bikram without the anger. When I set up my mat for the 5:30 p.m. class I didn’t expect it to be different from my usual HPF; it had been more than eight hours since my morning classes. But the flexibility I earned in the morning lingered past dark. Each pose was a little deeper, a little smoother, than my usual practice. The 104-degree heat wasn’t a challenge; it was a lubricant. I felt so mellow after class the only thing I wanted to do was more yoga, so I did.
Actually, I drank a lot of water, more than half a gallon, before settling back on my mat for the final CorePower class – C1, fundamentals. My logic in doing C1 last was that it’s the easiest, but it wound up being my most mentally intense. After three hours in the hot room, my body was putty; striking the poses was nothing. But my mind was in a perpetual sauna; every thought beyond my mat and the mirror steamed out of my skull. My practice was fluid and deep. When the final sabasana ended I didn’t feel the least bit tired. I could do it all again.
But I didn’t. Tyler came over for food and beer and ice cream and we talked until midnight. But I still set my alarm for my Tuesday morning date with Shira. I groaned when the alarm went off, but once she put me through my paces, I was strong and alive once again.
Paul, your post is so effective that it makes me want to OD on yoga immediately. Clearly I’ve been missing something terribly beneficial!
Fabulous. On the occasional Monday, I’ll do a C2, HPF, and C1 back-to-back-to-back. It’s a glorious way to spend a few hours. Glad I’m not the only addict out there 🙂