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 (um...you 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.