Saturday, January 12, 2008

Day 161

Normally, Saturday is my day off from yoga. I use the time to do my shopping and clean the apartment. Here's the routine: I get up and clean the bathroom and kitchen, then go to the regular grocery store early, before the crowds hit. I sort through the food and put everything away, prep some food for the coming week, cleaning the floors if I have time.

I teach a late morning yoga class down in the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood on Saturday mornings. It's not a big-paying class, but it is a sentimental one - these students have faithfully followed me from gym to gym since I started teaching. They're truly a dedicated bunch. Walking into that studio is like walking into a room full of friends, so I look forward to it each week.

The studio is also within walking distance of the St. Lawrence Market, an amazing cornucopia of produce vendors peddling eye-popping varieties of vegetables, scrumptious bakeries, diverse speciality food vendors (including my beloved Ying Ying Soy Food) and meat shops if that's your thing (it's not mine, as I'm a vegetarian). There's also a farmer's market in the North Market where I buy my avocados and occasionally treat myself to a samosa at Raani Foods or banana cake baked homemade by a farmer's wife. I *love* going to the market. It's a special treat for me. And having a class in the same neighbourhood gives me an opportunity to stop in weekly.

With practice on Saturday, I've changed my routine. I now get up and walk the dog and practice for an hour and a half, then try to squeeze in some cleaning. Then I teach, do my shopping at a grocery store near the studio, then stop by the St. Lawrence Market (lately, I haven't been lingering as long). By the time I get home, put everything away and finish with food preparation for the week, it's already late afternoon.

This has given me a greater appreciation for my 'day off.' I use that time well! It also occurred to me today, as I was lugging groceries home in a knapsack and two huge reusable shopping bags (city life, no car, you make do) that Ashtanga has benefits outside of party tricks and eventual enlightenment: I'm a better human packhorse since I started doing all of those chaturangas daily.

I had a good practice today. I added my inversions back in today - I was really missing shoulderstand and headstand keenly. My back was feeling stiff and cranky, but my Urdhva Dhanurasanas were still relatively open which is rather amazing, considering how I was feeling. I think this is going to be a month of being constantly surprised by backbends. Makes me wonder what my backbends will look like next December...

I taught Purvottanasana heavily in my classes last week. This means 14 Purvottanasanas aside from the ones I do for my own practice. I never really thought about what muscled groups are used for the pose, but here's a clue: this weekend, my abs were a bit sore and my calves were very, very stiff. Ouch.

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