Okay, jig's up! That State-of-the-Backbend photo? It wasn't me, of course. Those of you who thought it WAS get a gold star for having such faith in me. And I absolutely *loved* the comments! :-D I'm thinking that we may need to start an entire line of backbend-enhancing fashion accessories, starting with shiny pants.
For those of you scratching your head, this was a bit of a Astanga/Cybershala in-joke. My Urdhva Dhanur-doppleganger is none other than our lovely Susananda, from London, UK. She was visiting family in a nearby city and took the train into my burg (in a big snowstorm no less) to spend the day with me.
We had a SUCH great day! What do two Ashtangis with a bit of 'Mysore envy' do on a snow day? Why, go to Little India, of course! From the train station, we hopped on a streetcar and travelled eastward to my fav South Indian restaurant. We ate a yummy lunch, followed by hot chai, and talked and talked and talked. Then we did lots of shopping. When we'd had our fill of yoga books, statuettes and Indian kitsch, we went back to my 'shala' so Susan could meet Princess Fur.
By the way, that amazing backbend of hers was done COLD with hardly any preparation. Literally five minutes before, she was curled up on my blue futon, drinking tea and eating muffins! When she easily stood up (from the backbend, not from eating muffins), I was all gobsmacked, but of course that's just Susan, being AWESOME!
Of course, in keeping with the current meme, we had to take photos of our Indian food!
We started with Idly and Medhu Vada:
I had the Onion Masala Dosa (and in the background, you can see Susan's Mixed Vegetable Uthappam):
Half-way through our meal, we realised that we had neglected to EAT MORE CHAPATIS! so we asked for two:
The waiter came over and asked if we wanted chai after he had refilled our water jug for the second time. We had been sitting there for so long talking, I'm sure he wondered if we were ever planning to leave!
The only thing that could have made the day more perfect was the company of sweet Owl, but she's in Mysore (probably eating lots of Chapatis!). Next time, for sure.
Practice reports...I'm still doing Bikram yoga. My shoulder if feeling much, much better. I'm hoping to add some Astanga this coming weekend. I miss the Primary Series!!!
Sunday: Cashew was teaching. Now that the holidays are over, there appears to be an actual schedule at this studio; I'm starting to see the same instructors on the same days. This is the second class I've taken with Cashew and it was crowded (I guess Sundays are busy after all!) And it was HOT in there. I seem to have adjusted to that, though. I was hot, but the heat didn't slow me down. I think I've learned to pace myself in these classes.
I had an epiphany in Shalabhasana. We're instructed to keep the hips down and press onto the shoulders (the pose is like Viparita Shalabhasana in Astanga). It sounds simple, but whenever I tried, I just pressed my shoulders down which didn't help a bit. But if I shift my weight, kind of slide my chest forward as I push my hands (which are underneath me) back, more weight shifts to the front.
Monday (today): Almond was teaching and the class was full, but didn't seem as crowded as the weekend. I like Almond for his consistency (he times the poses well and keeps a good pace going, with a minimum of chatter) and his feedback. When he gives a specific cue, he'll sometimes say "Nice adjustment' if it's carried out correctly. I've found this helpful because I'm not always sure that I'm doing what they want me to do.
Today, Almond kept calling the class 'team' (in Savasana: "Nice job, team!"). It made me giggle because it reminded me of hockey (and there's nothing further from an icy hockey arena than a hot yoga room!).
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