A look back: Kino MacGregor workshop

I had originally posted this on my personal blog in February 2012, only 4.5 months postpartum. I got my butt whooped by yoga during that weekend workshop and was kindly reminded of my body’s limitations.

It was probably a little too ambitious of me to think I could keep pace at an intense yoga workshop this weekend with Kino MacGregor, considering that I had to dial down my practice for the last year due to pregnancy and have barely had the time or energy to get back onto my mat since the baby. Also, most of the people in attendance are teachers or already practice second series and beyond. Little old me… well, I’m still working on the primary series and have only dabbled in some of the more advanced postures. Nevertheless, I’m really glad I went. 🙂

Saturday’s workshop was focusing on mula and uddiyana bandha. Mula bandha is this nebulous lock deep within the pelvis. A bit of core and a bit of kegels, we spend 2.5 hours yesterday trying to get this pelvic area to squeeze and tighten. So many yoga postures require good alignment of the spine, so to counter all the spinal work, you have to have a strong core. I had to laugh at myself throughout most of the exercises yesterday because I haven’t used mula bandha AT ALL in the past year. I still remember that first day at the hospital after giving birth and feeling so sore just getting out of bed because I was using my core for the first time in forever.

The workshop was titled, “Burn, baby, burn” because tapping into mula bandha creates a lot of inner heat. I was exhausted and sweaty from trying to locate these muscles and flex them. That’s like forcing your uterus to contract at the same time as holding your pee and prairie dog-ing (oh yes, I went there). I definitely felt my whole mid-section stiff and sore this morning.

Today’s workshop was focused on building strength in the shoulder girdle to do lifts, jumpbacks and inversions. Oh, how I wished I had done this workshop right before I was pregnant! I had been building up my lats and really finding the muscular and skeletal structures needed to get into pinchu mayarasana (image above). But in my current state today, I was collapsing into a heap on the floor. I was putting my knees down to take a break while everyone else around me was floating. Even with an assist from Kino, I felt my shoulders crunching up. Eek.

It was a hard workshop, but I learned a ton. Yoga has taught me to have a really good sense of humor about my own physical limitations. At the same time, I know all will come with practice in a year, 5 years, 10 years and beyond. I may not be able to do half of what we worked on today, but I have the knowledge and some good tips to keep at it.

Half of the class was older than me, and if they can do it at their age, that gives me plenty of time and hope to get where they are. Thanks for the fun workshop, Kino!

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