Yoga Fundamentals is a 45-minute class offered daily at The Ranch. It’s one of the progressive six-day classes that is structured to allow for drop-ins. If you miss class on days three or four, you can still attend classes on day five and six.
When I entered the Montaña Gym, a few people had arrived early and were lying on their mats with their legs up, resting on the wall. “Legs Up the Wall,” Ranch Instructor Hazel Stricker tells me, “is a great place to start and begin to get centered. By starting the class lying down, people are less distracted as others arrive and get situated. Legs Up the Wall pose allows people to really relax and focus on their breath. We’re here to breathe.”
Since this was one of my first yoga classes in a long time, it was a perfect place to start. All the poses she led us through had variations. As a newbie to yoga, it was great to begin with basics poses, and I was also motivated by the example of more experienced practitioners.
“Everyone can take the class,” Hazel encouraged me since I was feeling a little squeamish. “Someone with little to no yoga experience can follow along and be successful. There are options offered in each pose so that people who have been doing yoga longer are challenged too.”
“The idea of our yoga program is to teach guests enough to develop a practice as part of their daily routine at home. Through the course of the week, the idea is that we can help you develop a morning stretch routine or a practice that you take home and continue in mindfulness. It’s to help people go out into their daily lives, do what you need to do in the world, and still return to your center. Like coming home to your breath, and being in a world full of chaos but still feel balanced.”
We began as we ended, with Legs Up the Wall. But as we lay there, Hazel played a Tibetan singing bowl that filled the room with a gentle ringing and she had us focus on our breath again. Whatever I had been feeling at the beginning of class was replaced with relaxed breathing, and I was feeling more grounded. I still had the full day ahead of me.