This gym, which I've just joined for two weeks, is a national outfit, dedicated to wider fitness in the US in toto. One thing this means is that, as far as its office staff, it is polished and corporate. It is a very slick outfit; not slick as in slimy, but slick as in really well-polished; if it was a climbing hold, you'd have to have hands of rubber to stick it.
This also means that it is really well-outfitted and equipped, in terms of what it provides. Details: sauna in locker rooms, free weights galore, Olympic-looking track with an actual basketball court set *inside* said track, along with a ton of cycling machines (spinners and others) and Cybex (tm) machinery AND a half-court (made of the same flooring as the basketball court) for aerobics and that sort of thing. The "group fitness" room is kind of small, but it could probably fit 20 practitioners (yoga, pilates, etc) if it needed to.
Right now I am getting a two-week intro free; after that, it's 80 dollars for the first four months and 44 after that. That's expensive, for my life expenses. BUT it allows me to practice in a space dedicated to, for once, NOT thinking about all of the stress-from-hell that much of my life is about right now. Is this worth it? That is something I will be asking in every marvelous svasana for the next two weeks.
I laid out my mat on a rubberized surface in a corner of the aerobics-floor, where they keep all of the steps and whatnot. Basically, prop storage. Practice: Sun salutations, standing, seated, vinyasa with a few scrapes and quite a few floats, boat, arm balance and exit (missed the Bakasana but that's ok), tortoises and exits (again, missed the Bakasana, but that's still ok), hit Kukkutasana on the second try rolling up, finished Primary in style. Bound Pasasana on the left with flat feet and not on the right until I let my heels up. Felt intense front-body pulling in Bhekasana, through Dhanurasana and all the way to Kapotasana (Hello Trapezoid Man! where I dropped back, walked my hands in twice, held for five, released down to Supta Virasana, which is how I usually exit my half-Kapo) and then went onward. Today was about freeing up my prana pathways, not about "stopping where I should." Plus, I really don't care for going to backbends RIGHT after Kapo and the backbends of Intermediate.
I didboth Bakasanas, although I flubbed the one you jump into (what's that, the daily theme or something?) and then did a modified Supta Vajrasana (hands back, fists supporting the chest arch) and then both twists, which have REALLY been feeling good lately, and then, to my UTTER suprise, I stuck all three parts of Eka Pada Sirsasana--both sides! Shocker! So I went on to Dwi Pada, which I still get into from Supta Kurmasana. It was so-so; a teacher could easily have pulled me deeper and straighter in it. I got into my usual too-round Yoganidrasana and then did Tittibhasana A and went to tight backbends (I knew they would be, from cranking my back into the Eka Padas, so it was fine). My right hip feels better--I noticed in the Janu Sirsasanas that it had gotten notably tighter from when I was last regularly practicing. Bad chairs, bad job applications! Bad chair-asana!
So after closing I took a shower (which always freaks me out a bit, in gyms: homosocial environments, by which I mean "men's this, men's that" have always freaked me out, because for most of my life I have been, in various ways, "insufficiently masculine," and men, particularly young men, when I was, say, anywhere between 14 and 24, were never shy about reminding me of this) and walked out of the place, totally disoriented with that post-yoga happy that you get after brilliant, huge practice. FINALLY, some clearing of all that stress-traffic in my right hip. Emotional ease. FINALLY.
As far as I know, either no one checked out my practice, or else those who did made no comments, no glances, no "dude, did you SEE where that guy put his foot??" and that's all fine. I don't practice for that, but I do get downright anxious about it, despite what an extrovert I am.