Yoga has always been a mystery to me. I liked the idea of it but I wasn’t sure where to start, which is how I ended up at Candlelight Flow Vinyasa at Providence Power Yoga. Vinyasa yoga is movement synchronized with breathing. Candlelight Flow Vinyasa is a little slower than regular Vinyasa – sometimes called flow because of the smooth and fluid way the poses move together – but is a good way to wind down at the end of the weekend.
Before even stepping into the door of the studio a pleasant aroma of lavender filled the cold air outside. Once inside, the lobby is small and cozy, reminding me of a spa with a small table and decorative chairs. The receptionist helped me right away and gave me information on where to find everything from the bathroom, to the changing rooms, the mats and towels, to even the best spot to set up if I don’t want to be too close to the heater.
Then I met Julie, the instructor for the Candlelight Flow Vinyasa Class. She is what you would hope your first yoga instructor to be; sweet, encouraging and experienced. As soon as I came into the class, she made sure I was all set and comfortable which helped to ease my nerves. She made sure to let me know if I needed a break, it was okay. The key was to just enjoy myself.
The classroom was dimly lit with a few candles burning and the heat turned up to ninety. For most of the class I did my best to follow along. I didn’t know what the pose names were but I looked to the students who clearly knew what they were doing. Julie was also there to help me along when I was lost. Half way through the class I was already drenched in sweat and I learned that a cotton t-shirt was not a good idea for a heated yoga class.
By the end of the class, muscles had been stretched that I forgot I had and my legs were wobbling. I was barely able to stand in downward dog anymore, but I loved it. It was such a new and relaxing experience and while it was difficult for me to keep up, I know that if this was something I continued to do, it would get much easier.
The class ended with a shavasana or a corpse pose. We lied on our backs for ten minutes, breathing in and out while Julie came around with cold, lavender scented towels and read us a love poem.
Vinyasa yoga is more than poses and stretching. It’s about your body and how you relate to it, the way you breathe and how you think. Yoga changed Julie’s life. It helped with anxiety and depression and I could feel the effects of that too. On my way home from class, I felt lighter and looser and worries about school and work were gone. Although, I am still a little sore, it’s a good feeling because it means that I accomplished something.