I rallied for the Marichyasanas, skipped Navasana entirely and went right into Bhujapidasana. I took a short break to stretch my legs and started my mid-practice 'LBH festival' (for the non-ashtangis in my reading audience, LBH=Leg Behind Head). I can't believe I got through it, but I was determined!
Then I totally checked out and took child's pose for about three minutes. DT came over and gave me a sympathetic squish. I decided, right then, that I would skip my Intermediate poses and opt for something more restful. So I finished up Primary and closing, then put my legs up a wall in Viparita Karani. I practically fell asleep taking rest!
It was my stupid LH! Argh!!! It *totally* snuck up on me. With daily yoga practice, subtle changes in energy levels can seem huge. Usually, I can pinpoint the *exact* instant those nasty LH hormones started coursing through my body. But this time, it was like someone suddenly opened the floodgates and BHAM!
The last time I was practising regularly at a shala, I dreaded my LH because it meant that I was stuck at home for practice. I always felt out of it and out of my routine, and a little bit like an outcast. One of the AWESOME benefits of this room is that I don't necessarily have to do a strict, by-the-book Astanga practice all the time. I can do a modified practice!
That's what I did today. I dropped DT a note to let her know what was up and arrived at my regular time. I went through the suryas, then did the fundamental standing poses, skipping the twists (but repeating Trikonasana and Parsvakonasana two times). I did Uttita Hasta Padangusthasana then moved into some seated poses including the non-Astanga Eka Pada Raj Kapotanasana. I did a few restorative/Yin poses, put my legs up a wall for a bit, and took rest. It took about 90 minutes.
I moved through this practice at a more leisurely pace, especially the standing poses. I was approaching the poses Iyengar-style and taking longer holds. On a typical day, I've buzzed through my standing poses by the time DT comes in to start teaching. Today, she had a chance to give me lots of alignment feedback and it was great! These poses often don't get a lot of 'love' from me. Today I was truly enjoying them! Before taking up Astanga, I practised this way (Iyengar-style) for almost 12 years. It was like coming home to a comfortable place in my practice.
It gave me some food for thought. I enjoyed this so much and I felt SO good afterwards. I'm now wondering if I should designate one day a week to be a 'slow practice day' so I can focus more deeply on my standing poses and breath and maybe add a few restorative poses at the end. Friday might be a good day for that, if I stuck to Primary only.
I left the shala completely blissed out and happy, even though I was feeling rotten physically.
I have some time off this weekend for the Easter/Passover break. My holiday actually started yesterday afternoon and my regular schedule doesn't kick in again until Tuesday evening. So far, I've been sleeping a LOT and catching up on reading. I have a pile of books I'd like to get to, more 'Little House and the Prairie' to watch, plus Princess Fur needs a hair cut. I'm teaching two classes, planning to go to a couple too! It will be a fun weekend.
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