Monday, September 3, 2007

Day 66

I took a three day holiday from my yoga practice, starting on the last day of my contract and ending on Sunday. This time off was necessary as a kind of 'clearing of the palate'. From a practical perspective, it gave me time to adjust to the different demands of a self-structured life after more than a month of the 9-to-5 life. It also helped 'reset' my expectations in regards to my yoga practice. Over the past month, I've been doing shorter, more focused (and somewhat truncated) practices. My yoga holiday eased the transition back into hour-and-a-half practices.

As I unrolled my mat this morning, I was struck by how much yoga has helped me to navigate life transitions, big and small. I believe this is one of the benefits of a six-day practice - it's something I can rely upon through change.

My practice felt strong today. As I suspected, a practice done later in the morning after a long walk is far different from a practice done after rolling out of bed at 4:30 a.m. In particular, I noticed that the shoulderstand variation poses were much more comfortable - even enjoyable. Supta Konasana might even become my new favourite! This ease in my shoulders and upper back certainly made the closing sequence more pleasant. After practice, I sat for mediation. I really missed doing this over the month of my contract. In the coming week, I would like to add some pranayama back in too.

I had two 'rock star' poses today. In Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana I managed to balance without the assistance of the wall. I was also able to bring my leg out to the side and back without bending it. But Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana was my real victory. I haven't even been able to roll up into this pose, though I try every morning. This morning, I just did it. Easy as pie!

The past month has often felt like a waste of practice, but clearly I've been benefiting, even when it didn't feel like I was . This is a good lesson to carry with me during the busy times and during the 'yoga slumps' that inevitably occur.

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