Saturday, January 30, 2010


I’m enjoying the Intermediate poses and my slightly longer practice. This weekend was a perfect time to start - the girlfriend is away and my schedule is light. I have no social commitments on the calendar. I’ve been going to bed early and rising at dawn for my practice. It feels a bit like a retreat or a ‘stay-cation’. I’m enjoying the slower pace of my days.

There were no weird after-effects to my practice today. This time I followed Gregor Maehle’s outline for the Intermediate poses and it made a lot more sense to me. I like the way he spells it out, vinyasa count by vinyasa count. I had a great practice.

The binds in Pasasana were tenuous. I’d like to start doing the Erich Schiffmann shoulder sequence again - that would open things up, I think (I created an MP3 of that portion of Schiffmann’s ‘Beginning Yoga’ video today).

My Intermediate backbending poses are still creaky too. So I inflated the Big Balance Ball of Pain. My plan is to do a long supported backbend over the ball a couple times a day. Again, that should open things up! :-)

I did one other bit of work towards making this practice of Intermediate easier: I created an MP3 of the first five poses of Intermediate from the Richard Freeman DVD. I like being able to follow a teacher’s voice as I practice. This will help me learn the poses and the vinyasas properly.

I love Richard Freeman’s cues - they crack me up. In Bhekasana: “Invite your heels to visit the floor.” Heels, meet floor. Floor, meet heels. Will you stay for tea?

Yeah, fat chance! *snort*

I added just one prep pose for Urdhva Dhanurasana today: a hip/psoas stretch over blocks to address the tightness in the hips. It worked; I felt much better. Opening the hips takes the pressure off my low back and shoulders.

I’m feeling a lot stronger in Urdhva Dhanurasana. I can hold the pose longer. Also, I noticed that I’m feeling stronger in Utpluthi and I’m able to hold the pose much longer than Beryl’s count (I wonder how I would handle the count on Sharath’s led? I’ll have to try it!).

Here’s this week’s State-of-the-Backbend. Not bad, not bad at all. It would be great if I could start making some real progress in this pose.

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