Mickey Demos Boxing and Fitness
Full disclosure: I've been doing yoga for about a year prior to this little experiment, so the vinyasa yoga experience wasn't completely new to me this week. And I'd even taken the Vinyasa yoga class they offer at my boxing gym a couple of times. Usually when I didn't bother checking the schedule and showed up with gloves and wraps only to discover a bunch of mats and candles set up between the heavy bags. So this was the first time I'd actually gone to my gym with the express intent of stretchign instead of punching things.
The thing about yoga is, there's like a billion different kinds of it. There's the basic, "recovery" yoga, which is basically just an elongated stretchign session ending with a nap. That's what I'd been doing. Then there's Acro-yoga, which is like some seriosu cirque du soliel shit that my buddy Trevor does. The class they teach at the boxing gym is Vinyasa yoga. I have no idea what the fuck makes it vinyasa, except the Illisa keeps referring to some downward movement we do as "Vinyasa." But I also know it's a lot harder than the recovery yoga I was used to.
First of all, the 730 wakeup today was rough, considering I went to bed at 130, But that aside, I was excited to use the new yoga mat the people at Yoga Design Lab sent me. Yeah, another cool thing about this story is I can finally accept some of the cool fitness products I get pitched all the time, because I have a reasonable excuse to talk about them. This is a mat designed to "grip better with sweat," and given that I get drenched walking to the mailbox it seemed like a logical item to use.
It's a kind of offic-e building grey suede feeling thing, with brightly covered chevrons going throughout. It looks kind of like the interior carpet of an airplane circa 1985. Illissa - the woner-instructor - actualyl gave me a compliment on it.
And because she's a Jewish mother, she also gave me a little guilt trip.
"So you're not allowed to do your regular workouts anymore now that you're doing all these classes?" she said as soon as I walked in. "We never see you anymore."
I pointed out I'd been in the week before, and had been too hungover to come in Saturday, which she didn'y buy as an excuse.
One other lady showed up for the class, and for a good 5-10 minutes we sat on the floor, while they talked about their kids and how they were doing in school, among other things. I had nothing to contribute to the conversation.
Eventually we got started, and all that cool new flexibility I thought I had an nighttime barre class had apparently gotten left somewhere between LIV and dinner last night at Seagrape. I could barely touch my toes from a seated postiion, and had to keep my legs bent on most of the standing positions. Lesson learned: 7pm flexibility and 8am flexibility are very different things. Kind of like wiehging yourself in the morning vs after dinner.
Anyway, the class seemed excessively hard for some reason, and I struggled to hold a lot of the poses. I was, however, able to hold the chair and warrior poses longer than usual, both with my shoulders and quads. And I credit this to all the holds in Barre and Boot camp, plus the crazy shoulder work at SoulCycle. I broke a pretty decent sweat, and felt sufficiently stretched out and strained by the end. Which I think is the goal. This was definitely a lot harder than Gentle Yoga, and a challenge I'm going to take up more often.
At the end, Illissa asked if I was staying around to box, which I sheepishly told her I wasn't. Then I ran into Mickey outside as I was getting in my car, who talked to me about the Cuban kid he's training, and didn't ask if I was going to class. No, Mickey. I'm all about yoga band barre classes now. But do let me know if anybody wants to spar.