Monday, June 22, 2009


I spent most of yesterday afternoon pulling up sod. After two hours of this, I was exhausted (and since summer is officially here, temperature-wise, I was also hot). I took a long bath, ate supper and fell into a deep, drooling sleep, chock full of bizarre dreams.

I assumed that I would dream of dirt clods or shovels, but I didn't. Instead, I dreamt of yoga teacher training. In the dream, I visited one of my YTT teachers, who was in the midst of training a new group. These students were practising an interesting adjustment that involved bringing the head into proper alignment in a pose by roughly yanking the student by the hair. Ouch.

I woke up with a headache.

I unrolled my mat and, after a quick search of my knapsack, I realised that I had left my favourite Beryl DVD downtown. That’s when I remembered the MP3.

I recently discovered that Beryl Bender Birch (whose 'Power Yoga' Primary Series DVD I'm very addicted to) is on iTunes! Yes, Astanga Yoga on iTunes...who knew? So I downloaded Beryl. I put her on my iPod. Now I can take Beryl with me EVERYWHERE! Kinda scary, isn't it? ;-)

Of the two Beryl Bender Birch Primary Series recordings offered by iTunes, the best quality one is produced by This particular recording was made during a yoga retreat in the Bahamas, so it has that authentic 'yoga class' feel to it. The sequence in this recording is less polished than the DVD and slower moving.

Beryl mentions the beach several times. I started to daydream that I really WAS near a beach. By the end of the class, I was imagining that after Savasana, I would go off and do some snorkelling. ;-) Alas...

In terms of the sequence, it's pretty standard BBB Primary Series. She taught 5 Surya Namaskara A's, 3 Surya Namaskara B's. She skipped Marichyasana D entirely. The vinyasa between the seated poses was inconsistent (though there was enough fumbling around between sides that I was able to fit a Vinyasa in when I wanted to). Navasana was repeated 4 times and Setu Bandhasana was replaced with Bridge (which is fine by me; If I'm honest about it, I hate Setu). After one repetition of Urdhva Dhanurasana, there was a standard closing.

I loved the invocation being sung, call and response fashion, at the beginning. And I also loved the Savasnana at the end. It was LONG.

Overall? Worth the nine bucks, I think. AliveYoga did a nice job of producing this.

As for my practice, it was good, though I was very, very achy just about everywhere, including my back and my neck. There was something very weird going on deep in my left hip (which made Navasna absolutely excruciating). I didn't work up quite the fabulous sweat that I did yesterday but I was in a more contemplative move.

There's something delightful about an early-morning practice in summer, with the light streaming in the windows and the balmy breeze floating through the room. Blissful! I had the best Savasana I can remember. I'm finally beginning to appreciate my morning practices again.

No comments: