It’s good to be back in my yoga routine. A Groupon came out a couple of weeks ago so there are a lot of new people at the studio. It’s nice to see new faces and I wonder now how many will stick with it. I’ve been four times in the last week and I have only seen one person that I’m used to seeing. Maybe it’s because of the summer break.
It was so crowded in all of the classes (newcomers) that I actually moved up to the front of the room, rather than staying in my “spot” in the middle of the room. It’s nice to have people who know what they are doing up front so I asked Becka if she would prefer me to move up a row and she was glad for it. I certainly wasn’t excited to have a dozen people behind me watching for form help since I’m certainly not the expert, but I was glad to help.
I was so happy to see Pong, Becka, and Erin in class over the past few days. I’m sleeping much better too.
Last week, I also got an email from Becka about a back-bending class with Pong on Sunday after the 10am class. For 10 dollars, I figured that I could use some extra help and Pong is ridiculous with her form. I’ve also seen her and Aimee wall walk before and after class, so I was curious. Here is a pic of Pong in her usual bendy glory.
Of course I signed up!
After the 10am class cleared out, I was surprised that only 6 people showed up. Pong explained that they only invited a small group, rather than opening it to the entire studio. She said that she just wanted people there who were practiced in Bikram and those that she felt were “ready” to do this sort of deeper practice. I was like, uh, are you SURE I should be here? I’m not too sure you made the correct choice on that one, Pong, but hey, you’re the expert.
She told us that she had gone to an intensive retreat with Esak Garcia over the summer and we were going to learn some of the things she did while she was there. If you know a little about Bikram yoga, you may have heard of Esak. If not, Google him. He’s a competitive yoga person but he started this group called the Jedi Fight Club, which is a group of people who get together to do intensive work over a 10 day retreat. They do two Bikram classes a day, practice competitive postures, and wall walk. They wall walk a lot. As soon as Pong told us that is where she was (she didn’t mention the Jedi Fight Club thing, I just knew that), I knew we were going to wall walk.
Here is a video of Esak wall-walking. Basically, you stand with your back to the wall, lean back, touching your hands to the wall and walk them down to the ground. Then, you push your chest to the wall and then walk your hands back up. While this is happening, you are on your tippy toes.
There is no way to explain these better without experiencing them for yourself. It’s a bizarre experience. Pong said that they will do hundreds of them a day. She suggested if we wanted to deepen our practice, we could start with 10 a day and move up to 30. Most people that do the retreat with Esak end up wrapping their wrists because they do so many.
I could barely do 5. And from those, I barely got all the way down.
It’s a freaky sensation. But exhilarating when you do it right. It’s also important to keep breathing or you get stabbing headaches.
We moved from there into some back bends on the floor with push ups (bizarre) and some work with a ledge to isolate our back muscles. Pong swears like a sailor and she had some very explicit thing to say about the whole process of wall walking and back bending. It was hilarious.
After it was done, we agreed that we would try to wall walk once a week with each other after class. Like our own little Jedi Fight Club, I thought, smiling. Oh, sneaky Pong.
Yesterday, I was super sore. Pong said that it really works your back and abs to move up and down like that and she was not lying. I really need to do more of this.
I Googled some more about the Jedi Fight Club and those people are really dedicated. Esak also does some cool work with youth groups to introduce them to yoga in the school systems. It seems like a fun activity and clearly, Esak doesn’t take himself too seriously with such a funny name for a group.
So I’ll do my wall-walking and see where it takes me. If I can work at it slowly, hopefully it will help me in my postures during class. Pong assures me this is the case, especially because of my neuromuscular issues. There were several times where I was down in the wall bend and I couldn’t figure out how to get back up. Pong was over me saying, just get up, move, do it now. She knows that half of my issues are brain-related and the longer I think about something the less it makes sense to my body. The wall-walking forces me to take action, regardless of my abilities.
In other news, I picked up my 30 day challenge t-shirt! I thought Becka did a cute job of coming up with something to put on the shirt. Just think, everything on this I did double for 60 days!