Thursday, June 21, 2007

Day 5

I took a day off yesterday because my menstrual symptoms were so intense. Apparently, a break was exactly what I needed because my arms and shoulders were not as sore and I felt stronger. In fact, I did Chaturanga Dandasana throughout the entire practice - or at least until Mari D. I stopped the practice there because I was tired and couldn't do the inversions because of my cycle.

I was thinking afterward that I could have done more Surya Namaskara A and Surya Namaskara B to get a better sweat going. Next time I practise, I may 'rewind the DVD' and do the sun salutation sequence again to challenge myself and warm my body.

I can feel (and see!) myself getting stronger from this practice. My arms are becoming more muscular and I feel like I'm becoming more lean, though it doesn't seem like I'm losing any weight. I think it may be that I'm just firming up muscularly. One big benefit I've noticed after only a week of doing this is that long hours of teaching are less exhausting. I've already started to build some stamina.

Found out the other day that H is taking the summer off. I'm still feeling disappointed. I was really enjoying her classes and learning a lot from them, but this also reinforces my decision to practice the Ashtanga every day. Interesting how things work out!

I enjoyed her class. One element of vinyasa-style Hatha that really resonates with me if the great variety from class to class. We did our usual vinyasa flow and a sequence of standing poses: Utthita Trikonasana .. Ardha Chandrasana .. Virabhadrasana II .. Parsvakonasana.

Also worked on Half Lotus Toe Balance (don't know the sanskrit name for it), Padangustasana, and we did a neat variation onUstrasana against the wall. I did Sirsasana even though my menstrual bleeding is about to start (figured it would be my last for a few days). Great class. I was getting used to the new space and really appreciating H's teaching. Perhaps I can revisit her class when she returns in September.

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