Sunday, March 28, 2010


Sundays are often a led Primary at Shala Central, but not today. The Shala was open for Mysore style from 9-11 a.m. This means that everyone was there all at once. At half-past, Teacher M called the entire crowd to Samasthiti and we did the opening chant together, then picked up where we left off.

I was in the back corner today, adjacent to two heaters so I was sweating a few buckets, then a few more for good measure. The headband worked well enough, though my chin was sweating a lot. Yes, my chin. And my shins sweat too! I’m learning the fine art of mopping my face when no one is watching me. Stealth mopping!

I had a good practice. Today’s skipped pose was Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana. This is an odd one to lose, given that I love it so much. It’s a big mystery to me why I skip poses at all. I’ve done the Primary Series hundreds of times by now. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who does this. I’m chalking it up to distractions at the Shala. It *is* a big adjustment for me, one that is gradually becoming easier.

I managed three Chakrasanas today, all on the first try (Thank you, Bo Forbes and your Bandhas routine - it helped!). I skipped the Chakrasana post Urdhva Dhanurasana. This morning, I was instructed to do three Urdhva Dhanurasana, take a rest, then do two more. I didn’t have it in me to do a backward roll after that. And I was worried about my neck.

My neck has been a little sore, but on Saturday, I had a sharp pain in my mid-back, near the left shoulderblade. The pain is triggered whenever whenever I turned my head. So, of course, I consulted the Internet. I thought this might be rhomboid pain, but in the course of my Googling, I ran across a reference to Dr. Robin McKenzie’s book ‘Treat Your Own Neck’.

I actually own this book so I pulled it off the shelf and confirmed that my mid-back pain is actually originating from my neck. I decided to test my theory. I took a hot bath, laid on the Acuball, massaged my neck with heat rub and then I did the full range of exercises described in McKenzie’s book. Then I took a muscle relaxant and went to sleep.

When I woke, the pain was GONE. So it’s definitely my neck and Chakrasana is definitely causing it. The neck exercises do alleviate the pain if I keep doing them throughout the day, but it always comes back. Dr. McKenzie offers a long list of things you shouldn’t do to your neck. Chakrasana isn’t on the list, but I’m sure it would be if the good doctor had any clue that consenting adults would actually roll over backwards repeatedly on a daily basis.

So I’m wondering: Do I carry on with Chakrasana? Do I take a break from it? Does this get better in time as I learn the transition? Thoughts, anyone?


The last day of the Yoga Show was a bit of an overkill. I headed downtown straight from the shala (after a quick wardrobe change). When I arrived, I *almost* unrolled my Manduka, then thought better of it. Instead, I sat in a corner, observed and took notes. It was actually fascinating, particularly during Martin Kirk’s (Anusara) session because it was so large. There was a wide range of bodies, different alignments (and misalignments). When you’re teaching a large group, obscure cues can result in waves of chaos rippling across the class. I was entertained.

The next presenter offered us balls that are *exactly* like tennis balls, except she sells them for twelve bucks a set. She took us through a nice little sequence, which I enjoyed thoroughly because my neck and upper back were still bothering me.

I skipped Pilates Lady and wandered around the show floor saying good-bye to people. Then I finished off the Yoga Show with Nischala Joy Devi’s relaxation session, which blows me away every year (and she’s such a sweetheart, I just adore her).


For those of you who are wondering, I’ve decided to sign on for a whole month of Mysore and see how it goes. Tomorrow is a Moon Day so I’ll get a bit of a break, but I’m back at the Shala on Tuesday, bright and early.

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