Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Gong Show

The week's practices have been the usual mix of hot yoga and Astanga. On Wednesday, I attended Peanut's class at Hot Central. I've adopted a new 'spot' in that room, near the upper left corner in the front row. Yeah, I'm in the front row now. I'm no 'Birkam Rock Star' but I decided that I like being able to spot for alignment in the front mirror. Also, it's less important to me now to be able to see my backbends in a mirror behind me - in fact, that was becoming a bit of a crutch.

The pose I'm working on the most in hot classes these days is Dandayamana-Janushirasana (standing head-to-knee). Today, for the first time, I was able to bring my forehead to my shin and balance there for a few seconds - on both sides! It's still a work-in-progress, but the skill set is readily transferring to my Astanga practice - Uttita Hasta Padangusthasana has never been so stable!

I brought my knee to my shoulder again in Pavanamuktasana. It's really not on the shoulder per se, but more on the front of the armpit-crease. In Astanga, students often hope to hear a 'Good!' from the teacher. These Bikram teachers like adjectives! As Peanut strolled by in Pavanamuktasana, he said "Beautiful, Kai!" and I got that warm, 'the-teacher-thinks-I'm-doing-well' heart-glow. I've said it before, but praise makes me work harder. I think that's why I always do so well in Peanut's class. He's very generous with feedback and he's good at pushing me in a way that's encouraging instead of defeating.

Thanks, boss! *grin*

On Thursday, I dove back into my Astanga practice, full Primary plus my Intermediate. After the futzy practice on Tuesday, I was determined to keep my focus. My vinyasas are still very 'bare bone'. I've been keeping myself inspired by maximising what I *can* do within the limitations of my gimpy shoulder. So I'm doing Chaturanga to the floor, into Upward Facing Dog, back to the floor, then doing a push-up to Chaturanga before coming to table pose and crawling (*sigh*) to the front of my mat for the next pose. It probably looks pretty dumb, but at least I'm building strength.

On Friday, I headed back to Hot Central for the Friday class. I'm starting to LOVE this class! It's one of the most entertaining yoga experiences ever! It's never difficult to 'get a spot' because all the regulars populate the front row and there are not too many of us. The last two rows are usually PACKED, usually with newbies or relative newbies. It's a community class so it's the perfect one to drag a reluctant friend to because it's only five bucks.

The class begins and the front row smoothly moves through the postures, while all hell breaks loose in last two rows. It's like 'The Gong Show' back there! People are whispering, falling over, sitting down abruptly, guzzling water, knocking over their waterbottles, playing with their towels and generally flailing around. I'm NEVER bored and since no one's going to 'bad lady' me about my Driste, once I get into a pose I happily watch the chaos break out behind me from the front mirror (balancing poses are my absolute favourite). It's better than reality television (and I understand Mr. Choudhury is on top of that idea too!).

Pine Nut wasn't there this time, Macadamia was covering. I haven't been to one of her classes in a couple of weeks. She usually runs overtime, but I don't care on a Friday because I'm just going home afterward. I had a great moment in Padangustasana (toe stand), balancing with my hands together for the duration, both sides. Then I totally fell on my bum at the end of the second side and cracked up. See? The front row can be entertaining too! :-D

This morning (Saturday), I just did the Primary Series. I'm going to stick to Primary on Saturdays from now on because I'm doing a lot of yoga back-to-back and I'm always tired because I seem to get to bed late on Fridays.

The shoulder felt sore today - I couldn't do Urdhva Dhanurasana, so I came up on my head instead and focused on working my legs. A few hours after practice, I started playing around with some hangbacks and I'm wondering if they might be a vible alternative to UD as I'm waiting for this shoulder injury to heal. They felt GREAT.





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1 comment:

sadhaka said...

Enjoying your blog ... have been struggling with my own gimpy shoulder of late and will follow your lead on the chaturanga to the floor. Thank you for sharing your wisdom!