Thursday, July 29, 2010


Today was a big day for poses ‘coming back’ as my hamstring continues to heal. While teaching the Iyengar version of Supta Padangusthasana in a class yesterday (using straps), I accidentally discovered that if I move slowly, I can keep a straight left leg as I bring it out to the side. I tried this today during practice, while holding on to my toe and I could do it! Hooray! This is great news for all of my ‘wide angle’ forward bending.

With that improvement, I’ve started to ‘push’ a bit more and I’m finding that other poses are coming back! I put my palm on the floor (while keeping a straight left leg) on the second side of Parivritta Trikonasana and my left leg is close to being straight in Parvottanasana. Upavista Konasana was bit deeper today and I was actually able to touch my forehead to the floor in Kurmasana (but the knees are still bent).

I received the Prasarita Padottanasana C adjustment and my hands found the floor again. I didn’t think I was close, but R told me “one inch!” and I pushed a bit more. I’m really happy to have that one back! I like it. :-) My hamstring felt fine throughout.

A highlight of my practice was finally, *finally* rolling up into Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana while holding on to my heels and finding nearly straight legs, forehead close to the shin. This is *huge*. I have’t done this in over a month!

By the end of my practice, my forehead was on my shin in a forward bend. Progress!

Backbending was a struggle this morning. Nothing felt very open - hips, shoulders, upper back were all stiff as a board. I know I need to walk in farther in Urdhva Dhanurasana, but I can only go so far before my knees bend too much and my heels start to lift. I couldn’t move around at all in the backbends today because R was watching closely and instructed me to stay still.

The second set of ‘warm up’ backbends are history! I had a feeling those would be taken away soon and I’m glad - they were no longer serving me. I started rocking after I pressed up into backbend #4. I’m struggling to find straighter legs as I’m rocking. As soon as I straighten my legs a bit and press forward through my front hips, I seem to lose the ability to lift onto my fingertips during the rocks. I’m trying to find a good balance between straight legs and effective rocking. I have a feeling that if I persist with the straight legs, the ‘lift’ will eventually catch up. My body just needs to get used to working in a different way.

R wants me to walk my hands in more in Urdhva Dhanurasana and ‘bend more’ into my upper back. This is the first time she’s ever mentioned my upper back. So it’s not my imagination! My upper back has become *less* flexible this week.

During my second practice, I took a State-of-the-Backbend photo and sure enough, my upper back is as flat as a washboard in Urdhva Dhanurasana. What gives? It was really odd comparing this photo to images from previous weeks. Some weird stuff is happening in my body and I don’t know whether it’s good or bad! I tried to ask R about this, but I got the ‘No talking!’, so I gave up.

That’s fine. I’ll ask P before practice tomorrow.

I’ve been hanging off the blanket box two times daily for close to ten minutes. The only effect I’ve noticed has been a soreness in my front body and side-ribs. My gremlin has moved to my left side body, but I only really feel her when I take a really deep breath.

I’ve had to become MUCH more mindful pressing up into Urdhva Dhanurasana. If I come into the pose quickly or casually, I feel a pinching sensation in my low back. If I take the time to tuck my tailbone, engage Udiyana Bandha and lift up through my lower ribs (which I know I should be doing anyway, but it really doesn’t happen unless I’m methodical about it), my lower back feels fine.

Dropbacks were fine today, more than fine! No drama, no brain-stress! I just dropped, dropped, dropped. I was working with wider legs because my back is less open. I noticed something different though - I was *really* feeling the action of my legs as I came back. On the second drop, I noticed that my legs were helping me ‘decelerate’ and slow the drop to the floor. As soon as I lose the legs, I ‘fall’. On the third dropback, I hung for awhile then lightly lowered my hands. Better!!!

Part of the sensation of active legs is firmly planted heels! It was kind of awesome to experience this, but I had to turn my feet out slightly to really ‘dig in.’ Baby steps!


It doesn’t happen often, but I have two whole days off! No teaching! Nada!!!

Today I’m headed to the beach for the day: lake, sand, sunshine. Tomorrow, I need to stay in town because I’m hitting an Indian buffet with a friend (but I may head out to the Really Big Park with the dog in the morning). The weather is really beautiful, it’s not too hot and I have interesting books to read and things to study.


I paid my shala fees today.

That's right! I’m back for August :-D

Aw, poor teachers! They’re stuck with me for *another* month!

But I’m giving them a break from my shananigans near the end of the month. My mother is coming up for a visit *silentscream* and we’re doing some travelling.

I agreed to a road trip with her on three conditions:

1) she’s not allowed to complain about my vegan diet

2) there has to be some *excellent* yoga at our destination

3) no politics!!!!!

We’re headed to Montreal and Quebec City with a stopover at a cottage.

Yoga in Montreal - I’m sure you can guess where! I can’t wait! :-D

1 comment:

susananda said...

A bit of stiffness in response to the extra box work - temporary!!