Monday, February 8, 2010

Astanga

Back to my ‘studio space’ this morning with lots of room (comparatively) to stretch out. I had a great practice! Full Primary Series today with my five Intermediate poses. The apartment was just warm enough for a decent sweat, but not overly stuffy. The sun was shining, so the room was bright and glowing.

I just love these lazy morning practices. This is *exactly* what I had in mind when I envisioned my life as a self-employed yoga teacher. Sometimes I feel like a carefully staged scene from a Yoga Journal article (and other times, I feel like a feature in Mad Magazine; depends on the day).

At the moment, I’m deeply grateful that I have the opportunity to do this every morning. Stay tuned! This could change!

Intermediate news: There has been some progress in my Bhekasana. I’m now placing my hands correctly on top of my feet/toes and lifting my chest UP. My heels don’t want to ‘visit the floor’ (to use Richard’s quaint cue), but I’m feeling more of the backbend in this pose.

Speaking of backbends, per Patrick’s subtle suggestion, I’ve been paying more attention to *where* I’m feeling the stretch on my front abdomen while in Urdhva Dhanurasana. Today, I discovered that if I 'rock' - that is: shift my weight from feet to hands a few times - I feel the front-stretch increasingly in my upper ribs (rather than lower abdomen). Hm. Interesting!

My bind in Supta Kurmasana comes and goes. Today, it stopped in for a short visit, reminding me of how much I enjoy it when it’s easy (and how much I dread it when it’s not). There’s no rhyme or reason to these appearances and disappearances, except that it’s now become a regular ’thing’.


By the way, I’m *loving* the cork blocks. It’s probably in part due to sheer novelty, but I enjoy the feel of them, the solidity, the texture (they're soft!). When I place them on my wood floor, they don’t go ‘kathunk!’. They feel like they *want* to support my weight. I even used one (oh, the shock!) in Parivritta Trikonasana to give myself additional leverage for the twist. It felt so much better.

With this recent acquisition, I'm becoming quite the collector of blocks. I now own three sets: my very first foam blocks (purchased almost 15 years ago when I started my practice), the hollow wood ones (required for YTT, then we never used them), and now these.

Maybe I need a display case!

4 comments:

Michelle said...

I have cork too and I love them, or it. I only have one, but much better than the foam ones.

Terra said...

I used to go to a Baptiste studio that used cork blocks and I don't know exactly what they were cleaned with (but I know they got dunked once a week or a month or something- public studio and all) but they smelled horrible! It got to where I wouldn't even use one because I didn't want it touching my mat! That put me off of cork! Plus they're heavy which makes them a little harder to reach for an grab if you're already in a pose. Just my two cents! :) Glad they're working out for you though!

Claudia said...

I loved the picture composition, had me laughing! :)

Kaivalya said...

@Terra
I'll keep that in mind for cleaning them (no nasty cleaning chemicals for sure). Right now, my cork blocks smell lovely, like cedar, a woodsy smell. I have the lighter foam blocks if I need something light, but I love how solid these are for my 'lift-ups'.

@Claudia
Hee, hee! I had fun putting that together. Of course, now my Supta K has come back again...