Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Astanga

I'm finding it very difficult to maintain flow and focus with so much of the substance cut out of my Vinyasas. I'm not jumping forward or back. I'm not doing downward facing dog for most of my practice. I do it in the sun salutations and as far into the seated poses as I can manage, then I revert to table pose when my shoulder begins to ache.

The lack of flow creates hothouse conditions for huge amounts of futzing. Since I'm annoyed and (yes, I'll admit it) a bit depressed about my abbreviated Vinyasas, I tend to stop a lot and 'rest'. It seems to require a lot of energy to start up again.

I'm like a street car that jerks forward, then stops, forward, then stops. Leaving all the standing passengers pitching forward and back and bumping side to side, trying not to fall into someone's lap.

Part of this could also be the 'winter practice blues'. I've never practiced Astanga this consistently through an entire winter season. Last year, I was varying my practices more, the year before that, I was trying to get my groove back after an illness. And the year before that, I was in the first 6 months of my Astanga practice and it seemed hard no matter what the weather was doing (but somehow easier because it was newish to me).

I think consistent, daily practice of the same series highlights difficulties that might not seem as obvious if you just practisted yoga a few times a week or sporadically. The variations in energy levels and motivation become particularly stark.

Back bending was good today and my dropbacks were strong. I'm surprised by how well this is going, actually. I thought I would have to 'start over' but I seemed to have picked up exactly where I left off.

Today, I wasn't able to nail the exhale-to-drop-inhale-to-stand thing (to the futon of course - the floor is still impossible), but I was able to stand up easily with two strong rocks. I also tried coming up from the floor. I only managed to lift up to my fingertips, though.

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In honour of the first big snow storm of the season, 70s Yoga Lady Kareen is making a Yoga Snow Angel.




Must get cold in that leotard!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

3 comments:

LauraYogini said...

I can't tell you what a comfort it is to hear a seasoned ashtangi admit to difficulties in motivation with their practice; that sometimes it's a struggle. I know my (very new) practice is fits and starts!

If awareness is the true goal of our practice though, then I'm trying to comfort myself with the notion that even if my practice doesn't 'rock' or look pretty every time, even if I don't always make it through, then so long as I notice that, and enquire as to why, and learn, acknowledge and nurture those reasons and lessons, my practice is still a 'success'. Does that make sense?

Thank you for your honesty,I love your writing!

Yyogini said...

I'm still at a stage where I try to take a few days off between practices in hopes that I'll be "fresh" and have enough muscle energy to do well in my next practice. Still new I guess.

Alice said...

My mom started doing yoga on television with Kareen at least 40 years ago! Wow!