Sunday, November 21, 2010

Astanga

This weekend was great! I did some serious thinking, reordered priorities, rejigged my schedule and made a few changes. One of the biggies is this: I now have a regular day off. Yes, that's right. I didn't before. I was teaching 7 days a week, sometimes even during the slower summer months.

From now on, I'll always to be able to count on having Sundays free and I'm planning to keep that day sacred. No classes, no privates, no work. It's a relief to know that each week, I'll have a entire day with nowhere to go, nothing to do (unless I want to).

Today was my first 'Sunday off' and despite the Moon Day, I decided to practice. I went to Shala South for Mysore-style.

I was 'crim' but I was in good company! There were many other 'crim Ashtangis' today at South. I counted close to 18 people in that room. But going against the grain is very much in style at this studio. I walked in and did my full Primary, plus 8 Intermediate poses. The teacher, DT, never tutted or raised an eyebrow. If anything, I was amongst the more 'traditional' people in that room. Many people were working outside the series, adding extras or flourishes.

I received some strong, focused adjustments. I was impressed that I got so much help, considering this teacher had never seen me before. DT corrected the alignment of my hips in both Parivritta Trikonasana and Parivritta Parsvakonasana (she asked me to shorten my stance on the latter). These adjustments were very similar to feedback I've received from IM at Studio Central in the past.

I received really deep adjustments in both Marichyasana C and D and also got the coveted Prasarita C adjustment, hands to the floor (I held the pose longer, hoping some help might come along, and it did!).

I probably would have had an assist in Supta Kurmasana too, but I didn't need it! For the first time, I was able to bind my hands, cross my ankles, then shimmy my ankles behind my head by myself. DR's help the other day gave me the muscle memory, I think. I wonder if I'll be able to do it again tomorrow?

I moved through my Intermediate poses smoothly. DT checked that I was binding in Pasasana, then left me alone to do the pose on my own. I skipped Parsva Dhanurasana because it felt too crowded to manage it. I grabbed a block to use for Laghu Vajrasana (I'm still not lowering my head all the way to the floor). It was actually nice to have this option and not feel all sneaky or weird about it.

This studio is very supportive of the use of props: the wall for handstands or backbends, bolsters, straps, etc. I certainly could have added my usual shoulder and hip openers before Urdhva Dhanurasana, but opted to go right into backbends to save time. I was practising with a shala buddy and wanted to finish up. I did 6 backbends, no dropbacks (though I might ask for them next time).

I had a good experience this morning. My only gripe is the music - there was some electronica playing when I unrolled my mat, but it wasn't playing for the entire duration. I was actually surprised that it bothered me so much - I used to practice with music and I still play it in the Hatha classes I teach.

I wouldn't mind going back to this room for an occasional practice on Sundays. It's not a 'traditional' shala, but given where I am in my practice right now, it's a good compromise. Whatever practice you bring in the door is supported and I really like that.

And I'm very curious about DG's morning Mysore now. I'm planning to go back to South and give it a shot sometime in the next couple weeks.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

7 comments:

Haley-O (Cheaty) said...

Gosh, I wonder if we were practicing (with DR) at the same time the other day!

I love that coveted Prasarita C adjustment, too. I know I'll get that one after a few more adjustments -- love muscle memory! Mari C and D are still miles away for me. Only DR (no one else) can get me fully into C! I'm extremely flexible everywhere but the shoulders....

Enjoy your freedom to do whatever you want on Saturdays! :) GREAT PLAN.

Helen said...

That's great news kai, everyone needs a day off. I honestly do not know how you manage, your like superwoman. Glad you have had two positive shala visits too.

Helen said...
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Helen said...
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Sarah said...

Love this: "Whatever practice you bring in the door is supported "

and your day off too! i've been wondering about how flat out things have been feeling in your busy fullness ...

Boodiba said...

I'm glad you're taking a day off!!! I try not to do any design work on Sundays... if possible. I mostly don't though this weekend was a tiny exception. We all need one recharge day I think.

m said...

It was nice to see you (through my legs, upside down, facing the other wall, whatever), and I'm glad you got something out of the practice! I love DB. Hopefully you'll one day catch mysore with TB as well; with her, there's somehow a feeling that everything is possible. The CD was Marla's new record, big choons, big hits at "Shala South".