Thursday, July 26, 2007

Day 36

This morning's yoga was supposed to be an early morning practice, but I had some problems motivating myself (and, predictably, ended up on the computer) so didn't get going until almost 8. Once I stepped on my mat, I felt okay, though.

My hamstrings were sore.

This is good! This means that my new Evil Plan for Conquering the Universe through Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (and perhaps Upavista Konasana and a few other poses while I'm at it) is probably working. Here’s the odd thing: since I started doing the Primary Series as a daily practice, my hams have become tighter - I've actually lost flexibility in poses like Paschimottanasana and Janu Sirsasana. I'm trying to regain what I've lost.

So my Evil Plan revolves around using a strap during Supta Padangusthasana to achieve a deeper stretch. Yes, I can hold on to my toe, but when I do, I tend to either bend one leg or the other and the stretch never feels healthy (even though I'm on my back, I’m pretty sure I'm rounding my back). I'm not sure if being all Iyengar about this is going to get me anywhere, but I'm willing to try. So far I think it's working.

Goodness! I hope there aren't any non-yoga people trying to read this blog. They'll think I'm speaking Martian! ;-)

I added some abdominal work to my evening practice last night and did some more this morning. I devoted a chunk of time to coming into headstand and did manage to come up several times with straight legs. However, there are a couple of disclaimers I must 'fess up to:

- I gave myself a little boost with my toes to get going.
- As I got tired, I noticed that I seemed to be transferring some of the effort into my arms/shoulder/neck and my neck felt stiff afterward (necessitating a round of a 'neck releasing' series I often teach my students).

I need to research this a bit and find out if I'm on the right track. The good news is, I was feeling very stable as I came up and really didn't need the wall at all.

Shoulderstand felt particularly good today. I felt very strong and stable in the pose. Could this be a side effect of the ab work? Does core strengthening effect poses so quickly (I've only been at it for a day).

One final note:
There's a possibility that my life will shift in an unforseen way in the coming week. This will effect my practice only in that I will absolutely have to do it in the morning. Stay tuned...

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