Monday, November 26, 2007

Day 122

I'm back after a two-day break: Saturday was a moonday and Sunday was my usual day off. And it was just as well because I felt awful on Sunday. I got up early to go to the soup kitchen and ended up arriving late, suffering through 55 minutes and leaving without assisting with clean-up. I was just miserable.

Part of it was being sick, part of it was because my medication is causing some nausea and part of it was *hangs head in shame* I went out on Saturday and did the thing that I'm absolutely not supposed to do: drink a lot of alcohol. I had loads of fun, but boy did I ever pay the price the next day. I've never been so sick in my life. I think I've learned my lesson: no more drunken partying for me. At least not until the New Year. Sheesh!

I wasn't feeling so hot this morning, but I rallied and taught my noon yoga class. That's when I really started to turn the corner and feel good again. I love that group of ladies - they're so much fun to teach! Inspired, I came home and decided to spend my afternoon doing yoga.

Michelle commented about the 'Yoga Today' classes. She had tried one of the Ashtanga classes and was curious what I thought of them. So I gave the class a try. The one I did was called 'Breath Control. It was an Ashtanga-inspired sort of class (not traditional Ashtanga) with a lot of Pranayama (breath work).

Pranayama is one of those things I really dislike teaching, so I'm always up for new ideas and methods of conveying it to students. The two methods the instructor presented were new to me and very good - I'll be adding them to my repertoire. One was breath retention and the other involved 'sipping' the breath, targeted to each of the chakras.

The rest of the class was just okay. Because the Pranayama took almost 20 minutes, there was only 40 minutes of asana practice and probably 20 of that was spent moving through the sun salutations veeeerrrrrrry sllllllloooooowwwwwllllly. I never really built up any heat during the sun salutations - they felt more like a meditative exercise. The class didn't cover a lot of poses and the holds were longer than I'm used to. I enjoyed a neat variation on Parsvottanasana, where you sort of lift your back leg a la Virabhadrasana III with hands still in reverse Namaste. I found that pleasantly challenging. Long holds in Navasana were....well, long!

Overall, it was a good practice for someone new to Ashtanga, but I suspect serious practitioners would find it too slow.

After I finished that, I spent another hour going through my usual short form and really, really, really enjoyed it. But I'm starting to miss some of the poses from the full Primary Series. I may go back to that tomorrow.

My hips are very open this week! Before Ardha Baddha Padma Padottanasana, I've been doing the 'rock the baby' hip opener and gradually getting my foot behind my head on each side. It doesn't *stay* behind my head, but it does get there! (How do you get the foot to stay there? Do any of my three readers have wisdom to convey?)

I've also been playing around with jump-throughs using blocks. I know, I know, blocks. But I think getting the 'muscle memory' is the challenge for me. I know I'm strong enough! With the blocks, I can lift up and jump through and also lift up and being my legs back into Vajrasana. I can do this a few times before massive toe-stubbing ensues. So perhaps I do need to build up some strength for this. I'll keep doing this and report back if I have any success.

No comments: