Saturday, November 21, 2009


Once again, my practice is beginning to feel like 'Groundhog Day' but of a different flavour: the 'restorative' edition.

The good news: My shoulder is feeling better, much better. The bad news: My left Deltoid is still tender. Specifically, it cramps up if I hold my left arm out to the side, à la Virabhadrasana II. Apparently, this soreness is not unusual and it may plague me for another few days. Good times!

Since the sore deltoid triggered the old shoulder injury (I'm almost sure it was Virabhadrasana II or Parsvakonasana that did it on Wednesday), I chilled out today with restorative practice again.

I did most of Teacher H's restorative class (I have this on audio), all the way through the backbends section. Then, I used a strap to do my own signature hamstring/psoas series (my legs were feeling tight). My practice lasted an hour.

I also stretched the upper back in my noon class while teaching the Schiffmann shoulder sequence to my students.

This felt so good that I was inspired to purchase the Beginner Yoga 'Backyard' video that Karen mentioned a few months ago. It features an expanded shoulder sequence. I'll try this for my practice tomorrow. I should be ready to do some standing poses by then. I haven't viewed the entire video yet, but in the first moments, he carefully clears a few fallen leaves off of his yoga mat before sitting down. For some reason, I find this extremely endearing!

While I was snooping around on Erich's iHanuman page, I found a free talk entitled 'Why meditate?' I love this! I'm going to listen to it every time I feel a burned out in my meditation practice! I enjoy the simple, clear way Erich conveys complex ideas and they way he phrases things. The story about 'the window' is a keeper!

No backbend photo this week, but here's a photo I shot of my Downward Facing Dog recently.

This one has a story!

I took the photo out of pure curiosity because something's been bugging me. At a spring yoga conference earlier this year, a perky little YTT Trainee bounced up to me as I was leaving a workshop she had been 'observing'. With impressive arrogance, she proceeded to tell me *everything* that was wrong with my downward facing dog, the main issue seemed to be the alignment of my pelvis and back. She was very insistent: if I continued to do the pose with this alignment, I would surely injure myself.

I was nice about it. I let her know that I was an experienced teacher. I gently explained that I've been doing the pose that way for 15 years and it's *fine*. And, as a teacher, I have a pretty good sense of alignment. She gazed at me in confusion for a moment, then bounced away.

I would *love* to know whose teacher training she was in. :-D

So I curious to see if she might have a point. My back looks fine in the photo. My arms are the big stand-out. Although I do hyperextend in my elbows, that's not what's going on here (Believe it or not, I'm microbending the joint like a good girl). I just have funky arms. I do seem to sink into the armpit chest (Teacher M is always pointing that out) but I have a hard time finding the middle way between sinking and rounding up too far.

If I was as cute as Princess Fur, people might give me treats at conferences. Just sayin'!


annabella said...

ohhhh! Princess Fur!

I can't believe that teacher trainee, who doesn't even know you, said that about your downward dog. It's odd to think that aspiring yogis would be so obnoxious.

The funny thing is that mine looks like yours and people have commented about my alignment as well. Every body is different! Why don't people get that?

Have a great Sunday!

Kaivalya said...

Aw, it's *so* nice to have you back in the cybershala! :-)

Princess Fur sends a tail-wag!

Interesting that your down dog looks similar. It's a deceptively difficult pose, I think. And it looks different on different bodies, so difficult to adjust.

I have a feeling I know which YTT school my little friend came from. I don't like to bad-mouth other yoga styles but I'll drop a tiny hint: it starts with an 'A' and, obviously, it's not Astanga... :-D