Silence in the yoga studio

Creative Commons image. Artist information at http://www.andreminduka.com/

Today I made what is becoming a monthly trek to 815 Yoga in Rockford, Illinois. It’s quickly becoming my away-from-home studio.

I attended the beginner flow class but there at 815 I think they approach it right — it’s a class great for beginners, but experienced yogis get something out of it, too. The instructor, Nicole, tailored her directions to beginners, but verbally offered modifications for more experienced students.

What I really enjoyed about today, though, was the quiet. The building had experienced some problems lately, including the absence of heat. Nicole told us the heat had been restored (as we could tell), but the electricity was out in part of building. That meant no music today.

I have always attended yoga classes with music, and I run music in my own classes. But I’ve never thought much about it. The music has always been mellow, not jarring, and I like background music. Today it struck me that this might have been my first yoga class without music.

I loved it! Nicole offered constant verbal cues so it’s not like there was complete silence. But the absence of that additional sound created a more meditative atmosphere. Instead of taking me a few minutes to settle into my practice, I settled in right away. Perhaps it was because my mind has been spinning lately and the previous 24 hours had felt rushed and anxious and stressful. Today I got exactly what my psyche needed and I know it’s going to serve me well through the rest of the weekend.

If music is always running in the background of your classes, even if it’s super mellow, try it once without and see what you think.

I LOVE winter in the Midwest!

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On Saturday morning, I woke up to a gorgeous winter scene of hoarfrost. Most of my workouts are indoors, but I like to get outside on a long run once a week. This scenery made my run totally worth it.

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A couple of weeks ago I was in Rockford, Illinois, and ended up running along the Rock River during a light, wet snow. The fresh coat of snow made for a beautiful landscape.

Here in southern Minnesota, we probably have a month left of winter, give or take a week. I’ll admit it will be nice to not have to put on layers of clothes plus hat, scarf, and mittens in order to go outside for a run. It will be nice to feel my fingers again, lol! But winter is so beautiful, and I will miss views like this. However, this is the land of four distinct seasons, so I won’t have to wait long for winter to come around again.

Visiting new yoga studios

Only in the past few months have I made it a point to find a yoga studio when I travel, if possible. When I went to Duluth in August, I took two yoga classes at JEM Yoga: one was a yoga/moonlight paddleboard, and the other was a noon vinyasa class at the studio.

On Saturday I went to 815 Yoga in Rockford, Illinois. I meant to take photos at the studio when I was done with the class, but forgot…sheesh!

I will admit I like my comfort zone. I’ve been going to Sun Moon Yoga in Mankato for 15 years and it’s such a comfortable, warm, inviting space. I sometimes think, What if a different studio doesn’t have that same vibe?

But that’s a negative way of thinking. No two yoga studios are going to have the same vibe. And if I find a studio with a totally horrible vibe, well, then I won’t go back.

Both the Duluth and Rockford studios were wonderful places to practice. I was able to settle in quickly and pay full attention to my practice. It’s also fun to see what other yoga instructors come up with for a flow. I’m always challenged when I go somewhere new!

Going to a local business while traveling is also a great way to feel part of the community. You might see a part of the town you wouldn’t normally see as you make your way to the studio. It’s also great to chat with the locals, especially if you need recommendations for places to eat/sights to see/local shopping to do, etc.

God willing, I’ll be back to Duluth and Rockford before too long and I will return to JEM Yoga and 815Yoga. And when I travel to other places this year, I will make it a point to take a class at the local yoga studio. Wouldn’t it be cool to take a yoga class in all 50 states?