YMCA Houston, TX

I’m in the armpit of Texas!!! Most of you know it as Houston. I probably shouldn’t call Houston an armpit. I’m sure there are plenty of people who think it’s lovely here but I’m staying right downtown and it is gray and flat and boring. There isn’t a whole lot to do in downtown. I’ve spent all week walking all over looking for the fun, kitschy, cool side of downtown and there just isn’t one. I found a book store on the map and all they had were technical manuals! The Aquarium isn’t really and aquarium – it’s a restaurant and half of the parks are being blocked off for restoration! I’m not a happy camper. On top of that everyone looks the same here! There are Stepford Business Men all walking around in their uniform of pastel colored business shirts and dark slacks. It’s a White Collar town for sure full of oil workers, paper pushers and tall shiny imposing buildings.

The one bright spot in my week was my visit to the downtown Tellepson Family YMCA. It’s just a couple of blocks from my hotel and they offer a staggering amount of group classes and Yoga. I dropped in to the Saturday10:30 am yoga class taught by Abby Buchold. Abby was subbing this class for the regular teacher and she did a great job. Abby is a 200 RYT who was trained in the Baptiste fashion. She’s been teaching for about a year and teaches part time at several different locations. She works in the oil industry as her normal job (Big surprise in Houston!) Abby has a very pleasant, calm voice that was audible wherever she was in the room. My favorite moment of the class was near the end as we were seated on our mats for a forward fold. Abby gave us a very “Texas” direction to reach back and move our “Biscuits out of the Bakery” so that we could feel our sit bones in contact with the mat – causing a ripple of chuckles. Abby – I’m totally stealing that!!!! The class was pretty basic for the gym crowd – no sanskrit or chanting which is appropriate for a YMCA class. The Asana was simple yet effective – in fact today I find that my intercostals are sore and I’m not quite sure why. As far as difficulty this class earned three stars. (see ratings below)

My boyfriend has informed me that I have been pretty hard on downtown Houston so in an effort to mitigate my negativity I have come up with the following things that I like about Texas:

1. All things BBQ
2. Texas KNOWS how to build a freeway
3. Big blue sky and sunshine!
4. Common courtesy is yes ma’am!
5. All the locals have been very helpful and friendly.

Class Difficulty Ratings:

* A very gentle class such as meditation, breath work or restorative.
** A light work out such as Yin or Seated Yoga.
*** A full hour of Asana with some flow – light sweat
**** I’m working pretty deeply, need the breath and feeling my muscles working, definite sweat.
***** I’m working very hard, trying to breath, feeling very challenged, sweat flowing!

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