Tuesday, July 27, 2010


And this too shall pass. I cheered myself up last night with some yoga-related retail therapy and then I updated my iPod with the new bells-and-whistles software. I stayed up late, gleefully organising my applications into folders while I listened to the Hanuman Chalisa.

I do ‘grumpy’ really well, but I also bounce back pretty quickly.

I rolled into the Shala a whole half-hour later than usual, but at least I showed up! I seem to be on a roll with these vinyasa-y, efficient practices. I realise right away if I’ve fallen ‘off-track’ with my breath, and it’s usually in the ‘futzing’ poses, like Mari C and D, or Supta K.

Wouldn’t it be cool to just wrap into Marichyasana D on one breath?

Yeah, fat chance. :-D

I didn’t even get the wrist bind in the first side today (fingers only) and I’ve decided that I’m okay with that. I’m not going to push it. I’d rather minimise the futzing and move along.

My gimpy hamstring felt significantly better today. Straight legs in Padangusthasana and Padahastasana! But I have to move slowly - if I move into a forward bend too fast, the muscle cramps up. It’s a clever early warning system! R asked me if I could have wider legs in Kurmasana and I told her “Absolutely not.” That pose is the ‘scene of the crime’ so to speak and my body still doesn’t like it very much.

Right now, coming into Kurmasana feels a bit like this:

Poor turtle!

Backbending was okay. For the most part, R left me alone to work on my ‘rocks’ by myself and I was doing really well! Today, I managed to rock forward onto my fingertips and hold there for a microsecond before coming back down. After observing this, R told me that my hands need to be closer to my feet - something I kind of already knew, but I walked in again, as far as I could.

It all comes back to my non-bendy upper back!

R also wants me to straighten my legs more and push forward through the hips as I rock, rather than bending at the knees. She pointed out that I’ll just crash forward on my knees the way I’m rocking now. I responded to this comment by pointing out one of the colourful bruises on my knees. Been there, done that! Ouch.

R assisted me for the last two rounds of rocking. She was rocking me forward until my hands lifted up, but then taking me back down again. I wish I could figure out how to engage my legs at this point. I think I would stand up if I could just get my legs to join the party! I tried to keep my legs straighter during these rocks, since I had some help.


The second practices are tiring me out so today I made some changes: I did my ‘second practice’ right after coming home from the Shala. This saves some time, as I have the benefit of a warmed-up body. I cut out a few things out to shorten the practice and tried to futz around less during my dropbacks.

Susan suggested moving closer to the wall during my hangbacks and then focus on moving the hips forward. I did that and it was difficult (I felt ‘smooshed’), which is probably a good thing! I’ll keep working on it.

Dropbacks were pretty good. The first one was difficult, but I stuck with my stay-on-the-mat-until-it-happens approach. The second one was better and on the third one, I hung back for a long time (okay, 5 breaths, but for me, that’s a long time!) and when I finally dropped, it was light and it felt more controlled. This is *exactly* what I’m aiming for! I was really happy with that one.

I’m ‘hanging off’ the blanket box again to try to open my upper back. I stayed for about 10 minutes last night and did another 10 today. I’ll probably aim to do this a few time a day. To be perfectly honest, I’m enjoying it! I find it kind of relaxing and go into a bliss out state (probably because I’m focusing so closely on my breathing). After a while, I ‘dial up’ the sensation by bringing my arms toward the floor.


Flo said...

Haaa! I feel just like that turtle each and every time I get to Kurmasana and Supta K. Those two poses are my nemesis...or teacher; depends on how you look at it.
Glad I am not a lone. Part of the turtle crew.

susananda said...

YAY! You are getting the bed/box hang thing. It's enjoyable! Then you gently dial it up a notch.

Cute turtle :)

Lauren said...

you closed comments on the last post so i don't know if anyone said it, but i just read the post now and wanted to let you know that all those feelings are totally normal. i cannot believe how one week i can feel like i'm on top of the ashtanga world, and the next i'm sure that going to the shala every day is the most ridiculous thing in the world. it usually happens about two or three a year that getting on my mat suddenly becomes the most terrible thing ever for a few weeks, and i find myself crying in balasana after headstand.

persevere, it comes back to center eventually. the warm weather makes focus difficult and our energy scattered. you're doing amazing by not missing practices, because take it from me (who has had 4 or 5 day weeks for about a month now due to a stubborn inability to get up with the alarm) missing practices makes it hurt and then it sucks even more.