Monday, September 24, 2007

Day 80

Practice was good today - steady, strong, but not stellar. It's unseasonably warm out, so I was sweating buckets.

Despite all of that heat, Kurmasana felt really yucky, especially after I came out of the pose. My low back felt very sore. I always worry about any soreness in my back because I put so much strain on it when I was younger (I played Tuba/Contrabass in marching bands and drum corps for years, then worked for many more as a professional field archaeologist). When was 26, my doctor expressed concerns about disc degeneration. In response, I left archaeology for an office job. I started yoga soon after and my back has been very healthy since, but I still worry when it's cranky. To be fair, much of this sensitivity could be due to my medication.

I spent a fun interval doing handstands against the wall. This isn't part of the traditional Ashtanga practice, but it's a BIG part of the Anusara practice so it's always been a part of my home practice.. Handstand is also an important pose to me because I was always incredibly fearful of it. I like the idea of doing something every day that scares me a little bit.

I'm finally feeling strong enough that I no longer flair around as I come up into a handstand and this represents considerable progress! I've been experimenting with moving away from the wall so I can practice balancing. Interestingly, when I do this I find myself coming up more lightly; it forces me to be mindful and controlled. I totally attribute my progress in handstand to learning how to engage the bandhas properly.

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