Tuesday, September 21, 2010


It’s almost a shame, because I was actually getting into being ‘emo’ this week, but I *didn’t* have a bad practice this morning. In fact, I had a pretty good one! Finally, I’m feeling a bit more like I belong in my body again.

I think a huge part of this is simply an adjustment to the longer practice, the new poses and all of the weirdness percolating in my body as a result. When I was given Intermediate Series, a friend offered a few tips her teacher had suggested to smooth the transition to second series.

In a nutshell: drink lots of water, get lots of sleep, eat for fuel.

Guess what I’ve been doing? Drinking water by the gallon, for a start! I’m constantly thirsty. My stainless steel water bottle has become my constant companion.

And sleeping!!! I used to get by on around 7 hours of sleep per night, 8 on weekends. My body has now decided that even 8 hours of sleep is inadequate. I’m averaging more like 9 or 10. The insomnia, which I was dreading (and experienced during the first week of my longer practice) has not been a problem. My body wants to sleep, sleep, sleep. So I’m letting it. This morning, I turned off the alarm and slept for an extra hour!

And I’m hungry. All the time! So I’m eating when I feel hunger pangs and trying not to stress about it. Yeah, I’ve put on a few pounds, but I’m actually surprised at how well my body is absorbing the increased caloric intake. I’m trying to eat healthy snacks - fruit, trail mix, energy bars.

I’m not sure how I’ve managed this, but my practice is actually getting shorter! Yesterday, I buzzed through everything in 1 hour, 40 minutes. I thought it as a fluke, but I did the same today. And that was with two sets of five ‘Pigeon Pecks’ in Laghu Vajrasana (with a break in between), three Urdhva Dhanurasana, three dropbacks, some hangbacks at the wall, and three dropbacks at the futon, trying to stand up (I got two out of three today, not bad!). Oh, and a three-minute headstand!

There’s been much discussion elsewhere in the Astanga Blogosphere about cutting down on ‘fussing’ during practice. I can definitely relate to this. When I futz around, it breaks my flow and slows my practice, making it even longer. My practice is long enough as it is! It makes sense to stick with the vinyasa counts and keep towel-futzing, extra-breath breaks, Princess Fur ear-scritches and ‘laying on the mat and staring at the ceiling’ to an absolute minimum. I’m trying!

A note on my backbending: Last week, I was easily standing up from Urdhva Dhanurasana after a dropback to the futon, but it felt absolutely impossible yesterday. I was mystified! Today, I realised I was probably dropping back too far from the futon. I started my dropbacks closer to the futon and found it far easier to stand up. This totally makes sense. I’ll see how it goes tomorrow.


Ragdoll said...

My last practice took almost that long just going up to Supta K, and with my usual pre-work routine of skipped Surya's and Vinyasa! I definitely need to cut down on the faffing, practice is so much quicker when I'm in a class with others. My intention for tomorrow will be to cut the faff, and let go of my attachment to repeating Mari D until I bind, holding the Suptas for extra deepening breaths etc.

Glad you've come of of your Week of Agony, seems like it's often only when we start to accept a bad time that it starts to lift.

Arturo said...

dear Kai
no manicures during practice either (checking the state of our nails...) said one teacher to me. Bamboo Knight comes over the moment i'm taking an extra breath to ask if i'm alright. i still go to the bathroom extra times, though, during practice.
my practice has been absent for a week; need to kick my but and get going again tomorrow.

Kaivalya said...

There seems to be an anti-faffing trend moving through the Cybershala! Good luck with your faff-free practice. :-)

Oh, I still give oodles of attention to my fingernails during my practice! And I'm back to using my towel occasionally, since there's no one around to raise an eyebrow about it. Other than that, I move through my practice very efficiently.

Good luck with your practice in the coming week. Hope it goes well for you!