Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Day 265

NOTE: Ladies Holiday kicked in on the 29th. I will very likely not post again until Monday (taking a nice, long rest because I truly need it).

Today is a milestone of sorts: only 100 days until I reach my goal! I find it rather unbelievable that I've done this practice 265 times. That's a lot of yoga, but the days have flown by. Looking back on old entries in this blog, I'm astounded the progress I've made.

Yesterday, Alfia was joking that I'm 'so ready' for the intermediate series ( were joking, right Alfia? lol!). I'm pretty sure I'm nowhere close to being ready to start second, but who knows what the next 100 days will bring (me? I'm hoping for effortless jump-throughs *grin*). At the moment, I'm hearing so many horror stories about second series that the thought makes me more than a little bit anxious, particularly with my antipathy toward backbending.

I guess I'll know when I'm ready.

I practised early today, right after waking. My hamstrings were tight and my lower back was stiff. I particularly felt this in Supta Konasana.

In Urdhva Dhanurasana, I've been noticing more and more how much arm and shoulder strength contributes to stability in holding the pose. I thought I was reasonably strong, but the practice keeps proving me wrong. I struggle to hold Urdhva Dhanurasana for the five counts and I *know* the problem isn't with inflexibility in my spine or lack of strength in my legs.

I'm finding Uth Pluthi particularly challenging. I can only hold it for 4 or 5 counts, so that's what I'm doing this week. Next week, it will be for six counts. The next, seven counts...

I've heard of other practitioners holding this pose for as many as 25 breaths. I believe this has as much to do with strength of the mind as with strength of the body. I aspire to both.

If I keep working on these poses with determination, I know I'll become stronger.


rand(om) bites said...

That is a lot of yoga and I have been enjoying reading about your journey along the way! Now I understand a bit more about the "series", I think I will go back and read over some of your older entries too.

Intermediate Series? You can always try and see how you go, then you'll really know if your ready or not - maybe? That's the advice I got actually about being brave enough to go into a proper Mysore class now that I have finished the Beginner's :-)

yogini said...

The advice I have been given regarding the Intermediate Series is to be able to go up and down in Urdhva Danurasana by myself since then the back is ready for all the back bending in the second for me there is a lot of work on my back bendings... ;)
You inspirer a lot but I guess you know that by now!

Charlie said...

hmmmm I'm interested in your assessment of weak shoulders given that you do a lot of handstands and long sirsasanas. And you can also do bhuja p. I can do uth pluthi for ages but can't do bhuja p to save my life, which I attributed to weak shoulders. Could the UD issue be tightness versus weakness, you think?

alfia said...

Hi, Kai!

I do not see my comment - the evil blogger ate it!
Anyway, I was saying there that if you were in our shala, you would've been given pasasana as soon as you could go down and up to and from UD consistently (just like you said, yogini!). This seems to be a gateway to the 2nd. I can go down, but for the life of me can't stand up. Hence - doing primary. :)

Kaivalya said...

Thanks for your comments, everybody!

Charlie: perhaps I need to develop more core strength, rather than shoulder strength. I've been using Sharath's CD for practice lately and those five repetitions of Navasana absolutely KILL me!

Alfia: Well, I'm nowhere close to coming back into UD on my own and coming back up seems like a dream. So I guess I'll be doing Primary for awhile (no complaints here: I love Primary!).