A big THANK YOU to everyone who left a comment yesterday. I read and enjoyed each and every one of them. It was like receiving a bunch of gifts!
It was so much fun to hear from all of you! I'm amazed and humbled that so many people read this blog. I never intended to write for an audience. In the beginning, I just wanted to keep a record of this weird little experiment I was trying with my yoga practice. I'm deeply grateful for the warm welcome and advice I've received from the 'cyber shala' and online Ashtanga community. I'm moved that anyone might be motivated to practice or to try Ashtanga after reading about my yoga (mis)adventures here. And I know for a fact that there are poses I never would have worked on if it wasn't for the encouragement from people who read this blog.
My yoga practice is better for having come to know all of you. If that's not 'sangha', I don't know what is!
I was pleased to find out that some of my readers are Canadian! It's good to know that there are others out there who understand that hockey is the game you play on ICE (Hi, Charlie!) and won't be shocked if I mention bag milk or kvetch about the weather! ;-)
Cara - It certainly is a small world! I do volunteer at the soup kitchen you're thinking of! I'm curious what shala you practice at here in the city. You can get in touch via email if you don't want to comment publicly (reluctantashtangi at gmail)
Judy - Thanks for the tip! I will strive for more enthusiastic flexion in my ankles - although I must confess that my ankles are already wildly enthusiastic as it is. They're very perky and nervous, trying to avoid the inevitable heel slam! I have a feeling this is one of those Mad Skillz that will take me by surprise one day when I just spontaneously do it. And I probably won't fully understand how it happened.
To my lurkers who don't regularly comment - Now that you've chimed in, I hope I'll hear from you more often!
And to all of you who left birthday greetings - many, many thanks! So far, 38 is a happy place to be.
I did a mid-morning practice today because I was at the soup kitchen in the morning. It's WARM today (21C, the last time I checked), so I had a warm, sweaty practice. I've missed those! No matter how warm I heated my apartment this winter, it never seemed to get warm enough.
I had a good, strong practice. Handstands are a bit dodgy, but they're back. I felt very strong in Chaturanga today. I was actually surprised to be so strong and focused because I felt like hell-in-a-handbag going into it. I was actually thinking that this would be a horrible practice as I stepped on the mat, but as soon as I started the sun salutations, I just settled into myself and found a rhythm.
Binding in Supta Kurmasana is given these days, so I'm trying to figure out how to move towards getting my legs crossed over my head. I can sort of get the right foot up, if I prop it on the left foot and move my head underneath.
Latest breakthrough: I can reliably put my legs into Padmasana (Lotus) while in Sarvangasana, without using my hands to facilitate. It's a fun thing to do and it makes my Urdhva Padmasana much more stable (and my Pindasana deeper).
Lately, my mind has been all over the place. I seem to be in a deep-thinking mode. My practice feels like a welcome relief from the inner chaos: for an-hour-and-a-bit, all I have to do is hold postures and breath. It's like a vacation from my own busy brain and I'm loving it!
Coming up tomorrow: I'll be writing a longer post to address Surya's question about food, nutrition and the 'yoga lifestyle' (one of my favourite topics - I'm getting my soapbox ready *wink*).