I'm finding SO much joy in having shalamates again! Because talking is allowed in this shala, there's more noise, but also more laughter. There's a genuine sense of connection and fun in the room. This was rare in the last shala I regularly practised at, but it's become common in this one and I like it!
Because the shala is new, we've all had a role in creating its 'culture'. Of course the teacher sets the tone and DT has set a nice one. More than one shalamate has described the atmosphere of this room as very nuturing, almost 'motherly' (in the best sense of the word). I look forward to going there. The presence of my shalamates and their bright energy makes the difficult parts of my practice feel more do-able.
I think DT has done a good job of supporting the wide variety of practitioners who have walked in her door. Diverse practices are welcome, but she's very respectful of those of us who are more traditional. She makes suggestions, but she never pushes. More than once, I've sensed a 'thought bubble' over her head that read: "Gee, this pose could really use a prop!" But I rarely use props, and she always asks before she uses them with me.
During my first days, I had a little bit of fun adding and changing poses in my practice just because I *could*. There was more than a little bit of rebellion at work there, I suspect. ;-) Once the novelty wore off, I started adding poses more strategically. Although I came in the door determined to retain my traditional practice, I've definitely become more open as time has passed.
During the first week, I added Supta Virasana as a preparation for Bhekasana. I lost that pose during my shoulder injury and needed to lengthen my quads. It worked - I'm able to do the pose now and DT has started giving me the adjustment to go deeper.
My adventures with the Dwi Pada entrance into Supta K have been fun, but sometimes difficult. Early last week, it occurred to me that it might be easier to do Dwi Pada Sirsasana if I did a little bit of Eka Pada Sirsasana *first*.
DT spotted the change, and the next day, she adjusted me deeper on each side and helped me hold for five breaths. Then she encouraged me to do the forward fold and after I came up from that, she helped me do this thing where I lift my extended leg and try to push up onto my hands. I wasn't sure what was up with that, but it turns out that it's Chakorasana from the third series.
Cool! Oddly enough, now that I kind of know what it looks like, I'll probably have an easier time doing it. I looked up the English translation. According to Matthew Sweeney, it's the 'Patridge Posture'. Not to be confused with the 'Patridge Family' (though that DIDN'T stop me from scouring the internet for photos of the Partidge Family doing yoga. No dice.)
So LBH poses are now a daily part of my practice and I love them and hate them simultaneously. I kind of dread Supta K now, but once I'm there, it's exciting and challenging, developing new skills for my body to do this new thing.
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