We started off with the usual warm-up poses. This was great. Downward dog. Cat stretch. The usual.
Then it started to get a little weird. She had us do a "Breath of Fire" exercise where we breathed in and out very fast out of our nose for 30-45 seconds from different positions. I actually thought she was saying "rapid fire" for a while, since we were breathing so fast, it seems to make sense.
I've hyperventilated before (not in a yoga class) so I know what it feels like, and this started to make me feel like it was going to happen again. Then at the end, she had us hold in our breath for 10 seconds to "hold in the prana energy we just created." I don't get that. Maybe it's supposed to counteract the hyperventilating she just had everyone do. For one of the last ones, we sat upward on our heels with our head tilted back.
Instructor: It's normal to have feelings of fear during this exercise. That is the negative emotions getting released.
Me (thinking): No, it's probably just because you're making everyone feel dizzy with their heads tilted back. Honestly, I'm a little scared I'm going to fall backwards.
A lady in our class had come in sniffling and coughing. She was very obviously sick. The instructor finally got up and gave her a kleenex.
Instructor: It's okay, that means that you body is getting rid of it's toxins so I'm doing my job well.
Me (thinking): I'm pretty sure that lady just has a cold.
Then at the end she had us sit cross-legged and bow forward to stretch our backs.
Instructor: From here, let's take a moment to thank our ancestors that we can be here together today.
Me (thinking): What? Am I bowing to pray to my ancestors right now? Like in Mulan? I thought I was just stretching my back.
Throughout the class, she had also reminded everyone that "We are all a part of God" and how we are all spiritually connected. Now, I know Yoga originated from Hindu and Buddhism (maybe some others too, I'm not sure), but I respectfully disagree with those beliefs. I realize that if I'm taking a Yoga class, I shouldn't be too surprised at that spiritual and energy stuff thrown in. It's just a little surprising to me how strongly sometimes those beliefs are coming through in a Yoga class being taught by the YMCA (a Christian-based organization).
Hm. Maybe I should just stick to pilates.