Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I slept for 11 hours last night and woke up yawning at 7:30 a.m. We’re in the midst of a late-summer heatwave, so the apartment was more than toasty. I was sweating buckets during my practice and the apartment was so hot that Princess Fur begged to be let out onto the cool balcony.

I slogged through my practice today. My hamstring is tight again and it felt uncomfortable at times. But the wrist bind in Mari D is back and Supta Kurmasana was very deep. My legs were so slippery I couldn’t get a decent exit, though (and I had to repeat Bhujapidasana a few times because I kept sliding out of the pose as I lowered down).

My Intermediate poses are feeling a bit more intuitive to me now and I moved through them more smoothly. I was relieved to be able to bind my fingers in Pasaana. I rolled up my striped towel and secured it with a rubber band to provide some height under my heels. This helped a lot; a felt more stable finding the bind.

Krounchasana is a great pose and I’m really enjoying it, though I’m pretty sure I’m rounding my back too much. This morning, I managed a sloppy jump into it with my leg already folded. First time I’ve ever done that!

Shalabasana A & B feel fine, though not terribly deep. I need to build strength and I know the best method is simply to practice them, every day.

Bhekasana is feeling better. I reviewed Kino’s DVDs this afternoon. In her ‘how to work’ section, she offers a great preparation for this posture that I’ll try tomorrow. Mainly, it’s my shoulders that seem to be holding me back, though. It’s a wicked stretch! I recall a good ‘research pose’ for this in Maehle’s book - I’ll reread that section.

Parsva Dhanurasana is still a big mystery; the pose feels absolutely foreign to me. I don’t know how on earth I’m supposed to keep my legs together. Seriously! I have trouble enough just keeping my heels close! I’m never sure what to do with my head. In the DVD, Kino mentions that it’s okay to lay the head down for a second while finding the pose, then lift it up again to come deeper into the backbend. She also mentions separating the legs briefly to engage them, then bringing the feet, heels and legs back together again.

Ustrasana is my happy place, so no issues there. :-)

I’ve been lowering my head down to a block in Laghu Vajrasana then coming back up again several times, over and over again until my legs give out. I was reassured that Kino offers a variation of this method (come down as far as you can, but she doesn’t use a block). This is another pose that will require daily practice to get, but I’m already feeling stronger and it hasn’t yet been a week!

I did three Urdhva Dhanurasana, paying close attention to alignment, followed by three dropbacks. My feet were much closer in my dropbacks today, but they always end up turned out as I drop. I’m trying to find a better alignment, but I seem to default to the bad!

My practice took close to two hours and I was absolutely spent by the end. On the surface, adding eight poses doesn’t seem like a very big deal, but I’m finding that getting through them is incredibly difficult.

I don’t know if it’s Intermediate Series or an ‘energetic hangover’ from the week with my mother (or a little bit of both), but I’m absolutely *exhausted* right now. I’ve barely left my couch all day. I did the laundry and that’s about it. I slept for a couple of hours in the afternoon, ate some lunch and I still don’t feel like moving.

Obviously, this isn’t sustainable (I teach classes tonight!!). I hope that I adjust to my new practice soon. It’s not like me to be this lazy!


V said...

Hi Kai!

This is the advice my teacher gave me for the long practice:

1) Sleep. Lots of it!
2) Water by the gallon.
3) Food for fuel. This is not the time to worry about the waistline.

I've done the long practice once and the second time wasn't as miserable as the first time, probably because I knew what was coming. The first time wasn't fun at all - I was so focused on getting through it, every day, that I became a little bit too intense.

Kaivalya said...

Thanks - this is all great advice. I've already started drinking more water and my body is craving sleep.

I know I'll adjust to this in time. I felt this way when I started doing the Primary Series three years ago - my practice seemed to go on and on... It's actually great to be challenged by my practice again. Of course, I'm saying that now...give me a few weeks! ;-)