Friday, March 26, 2010


Mysore Astanga: Day 5. Yes, five days! I survived and now I get a day off. Of sorts. I’m thinking of doing a vinyasa practice at home tomorrow. It will be fun to revisit my home practice space after a week ‘away’. I think Princess Fur has really missed spending that daily 90 minutes with me. She usually gets a lot of attention.

That Chakrasana is a slippery fish! I worked on it for a half-hour yesterday afternoon, trying to bring all the elements together (with mixed success). This morning, I struggled with the transition yet again. And apparently, Chakrasana gets ‘three strikes’ before you’re ‘out’. I was instructed to take regular vinyasa after three tries didn’t produce a roll (it was the Chakrasana right after Urdhva Dhanurasana). I think my body was in rebellion after those backbends. I managed a very nice post Sarvangasana roll, though.

Yesterday, the teacher observed that I was wiping away sweat often enough to break my flow. This is a tough one for me, since I sweat buckets in the Shala (only moderately at home, but it isn’t as warm). Much of the sweat comes from my head. It flows into my eyes, making them sting, tickles my face. I *know* it’s just sweat, but it’s distracting.

So today, I channeled Baron Baptiste and wore a bandanna on my head. A few years ago, I learned to tie a ‘doo-rag’ when I was dating a girl from Trinidad. There’s a whole technique to it and if done correctly, the bandanna stays snug on your head (and bonus: you look like a biker chick!). Fortunately, for the doo-rag newbie there’s a website that breaks it down, step-by-step: Unleashing The Doo-Rag Tech (on ‘BikerNet’, of course!)

The doo-rag caught some of the sweat, but not all. By mid-practice, I was wiping the sweat out of my eyes. Plan B: the Halo headband, recommended by a cyclist friend. If I wore it low on my forehead, it might work.

Who knew sweat could be this complicated?

I received a surprise in the mail yesterday. My Kino DVDs arrived! I was skipping all the way to the post office! Last night, I held a ‘Kino MacGregor Film Festival’ on my futon, with a burrito for me and a Greenie for Princess Fur. Good times! I watched the Primary Series disc carefully. It’s so helpful to see this series practised by a graceful and competent practitioner!

Already, I’ve picked up good things from it. For example, I was never quite sure what to do with my arms after Parivritta Trikonasana and Parivritta Parsvakonasana. Kino brings her top arm down to the floor, untwists, then reaches up through her other arm to come up (me? I just flail around!). I applied this new knowledge to my practice this morning and it was very useful, helped keep my flow going.

This afternoon, I’m teaching one class, then I’m off to the Yoga Show, which I’ll be attending off and on through the weekend. I’m much more organised this year. I’ve figured out which sessions I want to attend, specified breaks for meals and walks with the Princess. This will be fun!


Princess Fur’s favourite type of yoga is the kind where I’m giving her attention, even if it’s just a stroke on the head as I’m reading the Maehle book!

Here she is, in her happy place!


Claudia said...

you are lucky that you sweat, I dont know what happened to me, I never do anymore, maybe in the summer, I want to actually!... thanks for the link to the bikers blog, I always wanted to know how to make a bandanna, now I do. I feel for Princess Fur, she must miss you...

Liz said...

Sorry I don't comment more... I read, though!

The doo-rag thing made me bust out laughing. There is a woman in our shala who wears this sort of hat thing... almost like a swim cap made from knit. I can't see how it would prevent or control sweating, but it keeps her hair out of the way. It's hilarious and I smile every time I see her (especially when she has on an outfit that makes her look like an old timey swimmer).

The headband looks very promising. I might have to order one for myself! Can't wait for the report.

Good luck on chakrasana!

susananda said...

That's a cute pic. And congrats on your five days!

I HATE doing chakrasana after backbends. UGGHH! Luckily it only happens once a week for me at led, the other days I get to stand up instead :)

I sweat buckets too and have to wipe it out of my eyes. One day I bet Cary will tell me to stop it (and I'll be pissed off).. she already made me stop blowing my nose, and now every day there's at least one five-minute stretch where I have to sniff and snort through practice, mess up my breathing and probably annoy the hell out of everybody around me... Personally I think it's more efficient to just blow my nose, but I do it just to show that I CAN. HA! But I heard she made someone stop wearing contact lenses the other day... I don't know if she knows I wear them, I live in fear!!

Liz said...

hold on... Cary made someone stop wearing contacts???? She's brutal. I find it very hard to practice when I can't see. Unlike those who find it calming to see the world fuzzy and therefore go deeper within, I just get a headache from eye strain!

Chakrasana after backbending sucks.

Jen Stevenson said...

I sweat big time too, buckets even! It starts when I get into my seated postures then it tapers off once I hit supta hasta. I'll have to look into this headband thingy.

I've discovered my Chakrasana just this past Saturday. I've been rolling back for months but I've finally got enough strength now to get myself over. Such a great feeling!