Friday, June 26, 2009

Yin, Astanga

I slept in a bit this morning (a bit = 30 minutes; fantastic, I know) and did the Yin Kidney practice from Sarah Powers' DVD. It was nice, really nice. It felt like a big, long Savasana, except it was hard.

I'm teetering on the edge of a cold, so I'm hoping that all of that kidney meridian flushing, along with Cold FX and Vitamin C (and siesta) will help clear things up before the weekend. I can *not* be sick this weekend.

I'm loving this DVD. It is, without question, the most cleverly designed yoga CD I've ever used. The sequences are combined in different ways to create numerous different practice options. It has both Yin and vinyasa, plus meditation, plus a lovely Savasana. The spontaneous mid-class costume changes are startling, though. You look up half-way through a practice and you're all “Hey Sarah, that's a cool shirt, but different from the shirt you were wearing when we went into this pose.” (some of the holds feel long, but they're not *that* long).

I like Sarah's voice (this can be a deal-breaker for me; Nicki Doane sends me over the edge) and I'm interested in the information she's conveying. It's a bonus that she's a Buddhist. I love the way she interweaves Buddhism into her sequences.

I toddled off to work for a few hours, ate lunch in my favourite downtown garden, taught a noon yoga class, then jetted home. It's hot out. Yesterday, feriocious thunderstorms moved through (almost, but not quite disrupting my outdoor class in the park; my students are a tough lot!).

All the way home, I kept thinking, “I wanna go home and practice! It's nice and hot out!” But it felt silly, since I had already practised for an hour in the morning. Yoga overkill, right?

I practised anyway. It was great fun, a powerful, sweat-soaked, joyful afternoon practice. I just love practising in the afternoon! It felt decadent, like helping myself to a second and *bigger* slice of chocolate cake. I know not everyone can do this. I know that I probably wouldn't be doing it under different circumstances, so I'm embracing these circumstances for now. I had a fabulous practice, my best all week.

Since I definitely won't be doing the Primary Series over the weekend (I'll be too busy being Out and Proud; it's Pride weekend), I took the opportunity to photograph my weekly backbend today.

This week's State-of-the-Backbend:
Comparison, last week vs. this week:

Definitely better! The Yin Kidney sequence includes some long holds in backbends. That, and the heat, definitely helped open things up a bit.


Michelle said...

I just bought the Sarah Powers yoga book after practicing with her on a yoga"weekend retreat" in Vancouver. She has a peaceful presence.

Practicing her yin flows she asked us to let go of our ujjai breath -- no yoga teacher has ever suggested that! She preferred we go deep inside of ourselves and not use the breath to control what comes up.

I don't know if she uses that technique in her video, but as an Ashtangi, you'll trip out -- yoga without ujjai!

You have a really great blog.

Peace xo

mangotree said...

Interesting to hear that Nicki Doane's voice sends you over edge. I can handle ND, but recently I found that Richard Freeman's voice and pace of speaking is way too frustrating for me. I wish I could listen to a 10 minute previews on amazon before ordering these DVD's, as the tone of voice can be a real dealbraker.