Motion Center, Providence
Maybe two months ago I met a lovely lady named Victoria Lockard at Rachel’s house. Victoria was feeling ill the night I met her, so in lieu of drowsy state she slipped me her business care which reads “artist and yoga instructor.” This was before I had made my final decision to submit the application for teacher training at Eyes of the World.
As soon as I found out that there was a link for a teacher training application at Eyes of the World I downloaded it. The next day I typed my answers, checked the spelling and then re-wrote my responses to the short answer questions. I promptly deleted the document I had typed because Tom wanted us to hand write our answers; he said, which I agree with, that hand writing is more genuine, more honest. Genuinely and honestly however, I cannot help but write and re-write; it is something in my being that makes me mull and makes me dig into my own thoughts through writing. It took me 7 weeks to actually send the application off.
Victoria was definitely someone who helped me make my decision. From our very first conversation it was clear to me that she was someone I wanted to make friends with. We all stood outside on Rachel’s porch. We smoked cigarettes; well I smoked cigarettes, I am pleased to say I am on a strong stretch of quitting. Victoria sat on her boyfriend, Ben’s, lap; he carried on about lots of things with my neighbor Henry. They carried on so long about I have no idea what that I was asked to go inside and get more beers; they could not stop chatting.
On the other hand, Victoria and I, we had our exchange– I took her card and was happy to retrieve more beers for them and then make my way home.
My next encounter with Ben and Rachel was going to my friend Carrie’s wedding. I called Brandon, Carrie’s brother to ask him who else might be going to wedding shower because I needed to carpool. When Brandon mentioned Victoria I was thrilled!
Soon Victoria called me to see if I could give her and Ben a ride to the wedding. This wedding, thanks to Victoria, Ben and my friend Ramiro and Sabrina was SO. MUCH. FUN. Family weddings are one thing, but friends’ weddings are another.
A few weeks later I found Victoria in a Thursday Eyes class. I was so happy to see her sitting just one mat away from me. While other student filed in Victoria lay on her back speaking to me upside down. It was really wonderful to see her in this context; yoga buddies are special like that. The class was wonderful, crowded and full of energy. We left the class with the intent of going to more together.
Recently, Victoria told me that she started teaching a Vinyasa class at the Motion Center. Tonight I went to her class. Coming off of the Cape Cod experiment I did not have very high expectations for a studio that is not Eyes of the World.
However, this class was AWESOME! I will not try to recount the sequence, but instead tell about my two favorite parts of the class.
1. Victoria spent a lot of time in this class going through the Vinyasa. She took us slowly into plank and then had us put our knees down and lower slowly emphasizing that shoulders should be directly above the elbows. She had us put our knees down so that we could focus on holding our core in and lowering slowly. From there we moved swiftly through cobra and into downward facing dog. What I really liked about this exercise was when she explained that your body is meant to be like a plank of wood; straight plank, then the plank lowers and it almost shifts forward a bit as the body lowers and the shoulders remain directly above the elbows which are squeezing towards the middle. I believe her exact words were, “You want to be like a plank of wood, NOT a wet noodle!” I thought that was the perfect way to visualize how to be and and how not to be.
2. The class tonight was five people including me and Rachel and Ben. Smaller classes are wonderful for having getting special attention. When there are only five people you feel like the instructor is talking directly to you. Victoria definitely made it seem as though she was tailoring the class to our group. Towards the end of the class she really got through to when we did an exercise before going into bridge pose. In order to emphasize the fact that bridge pose is not about using your butt muscles and is instead about aligning your body so that your tailbone is tucked under and you pelvis is turned up she had us just do that movement a few times. She positioned a block between our ankles and told us to press our ankles against the block. So here we are pressing our ankles, which are directly under our bent knees and rocking our pelvis forward so that your butt and lower back lift off the mat. Soon we were able to lift into bridge using the muscles in our legs instead of our butts. Isolating this movement made the whole posture feel better, less “hard” and more stable.
Of course there were many good things about this class but those were what I remember as the highlights. I cannot wait to continue to go to Victoria’s Monday class!