Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Day 16

Today, I set the intention of being very focused and consistent with my practice. I only stopped the DVD once (to blow my nose). I didn't drink water at all during the practice (as has been my habit) and I tried to maintain Ujayi breathing throughout.

It seemed to work well - I kept my heat up even during the standing poses. I felt strong and open in most poses (but Mari C gave me some trouble today). Forward bends felt a bit better. My back was actually fairly open today, which surprised me a lot. I came into Urdhva Danurasana three times - twice with blocks against the wall and one glorious backbend without props. I felt like I was flying.

Headstand was good - true to my goal, I'm not using the wall at all. I'm about a foot away from it, just for safety. I feel very stable and safe in the pose.

I didn't practice Ashtanga yesterday. Instead, I did a very gentle, restorative one-hour practice, going back to my beloved 'Yoga for Beginners' DVD with Iyengar Yoga instructor Patricia Walden. I started my yoga practice with this programme on video years ago and it still feels like a happy place to me. I recently purchased a copy on DVD for old times sake.

It was interesting to do this practice as a more advanced practitioner. I found some of the beginners modifications very soothing and did them, even though I could go deeper. I broke into a tiny little sweat in standing poses and the holds didn't feel difficult at all (when I first started, I remember them being excruciating).

Viparita Karani is still pure bliss and I still love Walden's Savasana sequence. I recall that I always had problems focusing during Savasana, but didn't have that problem tonight. I guess I really have grown!

I nearly skipped practice yesterday, but I'm glad I chose to do this gentler practice instead. It was a good reminder to listen to my body and stay in the moment.

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