Saturday, July 24, 2010


I didn’t need to get up for the Shala this morning, but I was awake nonetheless. My body has a built-in alarm clock and I can’t seem to turn it off!

I took Princess Fur for a walk in the muddy park, then gave her a quick bath before hitting the mat for a casual backbending practice.

I started with some leisurely sun salutations and moved on to quadricep and hip openers. I find that I ‘m craving these ‘research poses’ - I’m hungry for ‘length’ and stretch in that part of my body and I’m starting to feel big changes! There’s a huge amount of movement and opening going on in my hips. My psoas has been talking to me (mostly complaining, usually in the mornings). My gremlin recently moved out from under my left shoulderblade and she’s been hanging out around the left side of my pelvis.

As I moved on to backbending, I noticed that my back was not very open today, compared to previous days. This may be the first time I’ve ever really noticed a day-to-day change in my spinal flexibility. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t practice Primary, or maybe doing daily dropbacks has just made me more aware, but I think fluctuation is a good sign!

Because my back was less open, dropbacks were more difficult than usual. I had trouble getting a decently deep hangback. The floor felt miles away. I didn’t even try to rock to standing because dropping back felt difficult enough!

The ‘Dropback School of Hard Knocks’ continues to deliver regular life lessons. Today’s lesson: DON’T THINK! During my second dropback, my silly brain decided, mid-drop, that this was a ‘bad dropback’. Instead of keeping my arms straight, my brain ‘abandoned hope’ midway down and I bent my arms on landing. *headbonk*


I could feel the pity party percolating in my brain, so I got right back up and dropped back again. This time, I silently chanted ‘straightarms...straightarms...straightarms’ to myself as I hung back, hung back and finally dropped. This was probably a ‘bad dropback’ too, but if my arms are straight, it doesn’t matter - straight arms give me enough ‘height’ to avoid head-bonks. Good to know!

I did 5 dropbacks in total - three of them were decent, but none of them felt good. I filmed one and noticed that I wasn’t getting a decent bend in my upper back at all. It makes me wonder if I should integrate some supine/restorative backbending into my daily routine. Maybe re-institute the hangbacks off of my blanket box? I feel like my back is very tense. I laid over my Manduka for five minutes this afternoon and I could feel the muscles along my spine begin to soften and my chest open.

I also filmed one round of rocking. Viewing the clip later, I noticed that my head was slightly lifted on the first few rocks, but during the last two, I pulled my head back toward my legs. I seemed to rock forward more easily then and get more lift (I’m pretty sure R has cued this head position before). I felt it at the time, but it was good to have this confirmed visually. I’ll work on head position next week.

I’ve decided to truly honour the Moon Day tomorrow and take a day off from any active yoga - no vinyasa, no dropbacks. I’m absolutely exhausted and I need to rest. I’ll do a restorative or Yin practice in the morning then relax for the balance of the day.

I need to replenish my energy reserves. It’s going to be an interesting, and potentially emotional week.

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