Sunday, July 17, 2011


Today is my last post, at least for a while.

I don't want to be one of those bloggers who leaves in a huff and is back five minutes later (and is gone again with the next half hour). That's not what this is about, anyway.

There's no drama around this decision, just an acknowledgment that my relationship with this blog has changed, my practice has changed and I'm not longer at ease with chronicling it here. I feel like I have my hands full with my practice without worrying about translating the experience into words.

I'm keeping the archives up, in hopes that they'll be helpful to other 'reluctant ashtangis' on the path. I also want to leave it open, as there's a chance I might pop in from time to time with a quick update, so keep me in your RSS reader if you want to follow along.

This blog was born out of rough practice notes as I stumbled along teaching myself a style of yoga I knew next to nothing about. I was amazed and delighted when an entire community of practitioners opened up to me. You've all inspired me, offered encouragement and advice, and I doubt I would still be doing this without you. I've made true friends, had my 15 seconds of fame in Yoga Journal, won a handful of awards, and connected with people around the world.

It's been absolutely awesome. And it's been a privilege to be a part of this community. I want to thank you for reading, commenting and helping me feel so at home in Astanga. My practice will, of course, continue.


P.S. If you'd like to stay in touch, I'm still on Gmail. My handle is 'reluctantashtangi'.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

There's a fly in my lemonade

As finished taking rest this morning, I gazed out at the blue sky and two words came to mind: Beach! Weather! I decided right then that I would ride the ferry to the island and zoom around on my bike, eat a picnic lunch, then go to the beach. I stopped at the downstairs cafe on my way out of the shala to buy a vegan muffin, then turned the corner to fetch my bike.

Something wasn't right. Some idiot had nicked the seatpost and seat! *argh* Seriously! The great irony is, these parts have NO resale value. The bike post only fits one obscure brand and model of bike - mine. My seat was the same ugly generic one that came from the factory and it was battered and torn from five years of hard use. This stuff has value only to me, but it appears that some addled drug addict in the neighbourhood didn't get the memo.

Once the thief realised his error, he probably chucked my stuff in a dumpster. *sigh* Meanwhile, I had to take public transit down to the bike shop and cough up a hundred bucks to replace it all. If I'm going to be all 'making-lemonade-with-my-lemon' about it, here's the positive spin: The new post is nicer and it wasn't that expensive. I upgraded to a *superbly* comfortable gel seat and bought a special cable to lock the whole thing to my bike. And I picked up a nifty orange 'JelliBell' for my handlebars. They gave me a 'compassion discount'. I count myself lucky that they had the part in stock and my transportation is secure. I rely on my bike to get around.

From now on, I'm carrying my bike up the stairs to the shala, though. Sheesh!

The beach was awesome! It was a *perfect* day. I couldn't spot a single cloud in the sky! The ferry took me to the far end of the island and that's where I ate my picnic lunch. It's quiet and green there. I laid under a tree reading and eating for over an hour. Then I rode my bike across the islands to the beach and spent an hour by the water. The water was perfect for swimming though a bit chilly (not that this stopped me!). I soaked up lots of sun, gazed out at the blue water and watched the boats. I took the 4:30 ferry back, came home and took a nap and now I'm killing time before my hot class at 8.

Practice was good this morning! With the combination of the moon day, Guru Purnima and Guruji's birthday, I didn't have the balls to break out an illicit Intermediate so I did Primary again, with some under-the-radar Pincha against the wall at the end of my practice, a million UD and a full closing sequence. I've worked hard at my Primary this week and I'm feeling it!

I seem to be back to where I started in my vinyasa-quest. I'm using the blocks for the whole thing, but breaking the vinyasa down into different phases and holding the floats (or trying to). During one of my first jumpthroughs, DT caught my hips on the way up and said "Hold it here!" (of course, I stayed because she was holding my hips!). One thing I've noticed since going back to the skinny blocks is my jumpthroughs are more solid now.

With all of this extra work in the vinyasas, my practice took over 2.5 hours. I didn't want to waste a single transition because it's back to Intermediate on Sunday. I know I'll be focusing on other things.

A report on my Supta Kurmasana project: Last night at vinaysa class, I arrived early and goofed around with LBH, curious to see where I could go with those poses with very little warm-up. I can do them, but it took me three tries to get a deep enough to find the fingerbind in Supta K. This was instructive! It demonstrates that a deeper LBH may be the thing that helps me get my wrist in that pose. So there may be hope after all!

The evenings have been spectacularly beautiful with rosy sunsets and the full moon. Happy Guru Purnima and Moon Day :-)

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

I'm not floating, I'm floundering

Today was an ordinary day in which many nice things happened to me.

I had a good practice, Primary Series, strong, solid and fun. My mother phoned. I rediscovered a resistance band that I won last year and promptly forgot about (am now happily looking up resistance band YouTubes for building upper body strength). A personal trainer friend showed me a neat exercise using a balance ball to mimick floating forward and I'm loving it.

As the day went on, the good kept coming...

I got a great haircut. I spent an hour in a downtown cafe eating a tea biscuit and surfing the web to my heart's content. A good chunk of unexpected money appeared in my account. Fresh cherries were on sale at the grocery store. I treated myself to Larry Schultz's "Rocket II" DVD (I hope it's good! Have any of you tried it?).

And, most profoundly nice, a senior yoga teacher who has been one of my teachers for nearly 10 years asked me to sub one of her Intermediate classes while she's away later this summer. I was so flattered and honoured, I almost lost my words for moment. It's deeply meaningful to me that she asked - and that she trusts me to cover her class (she also a fabulous teacher - those are very big shoes to fill!).

I'm still on my LH, so my practice is still modified. Today, I focused a lot of the vinyasas. I've amended my 'floaty vinyasa gameplan' again: I re-added the skinny blocks to my jumpthroughs. I can get by without them, but... I figured out that if I'm not fussing with those blocks, I can make a continuous flow out of the whole thing: jumpback, vinyasa, jumpthrough. It's rough-hewn, but it all starts to come together. I lack grace and I fall on my face a lot. I'm not floating, I'm floundering, but it's a start!

At the end of my practice, I added a prep pose for Pincha Mayurasana - Pincha arms with legs in downward dog. I was looking for a way to work on strength since I'm not doing the full inversion right now. DT stopped by and made a few very specific adjustments, explained what she was doing and I clarified by asking questions.

End result: Pincha ephiphany! I'm curious to see if this helps at all when I'm back to the full pose again.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Keep away!

Today's practice was Primary Series, sans inversions. I had a good practice - in fact, it was really great given that I'm on my LH. I'm genuinely looking forward to working on my Primary this week. It's a nice break from Intermediate and all of my anxiety and *whomping* in Pincha Mayurasana. On Sunday, I can come back to that project with a clearer head.

To jazz things up a bit this week, I've set a small goal for myself: I'd like to grab my wrist in Supta Kurmasana. Now that I can enter the pose through Dwi Pada, this seems like the 'final frontier.' In order to do it, my Dwi Pada needs to deepen and I'll need to figure out how to get my right shoulder under my giant right calf muscle. *oof*

One of the things I really appreciate about DT is the way she switches things up and encourages us to work with familiar postures in new ways. She has told me several times: 'Don't do a pose exactly the same way every time.' From her perspective, every pose in Primary has the potential to be a powerful preparation for a pose or transition in another series.

Today's theme was engagment of my legs and my outer hip. She was pointing it out all over the place - in the Prasaritas (which suprised me, and wow, the Prasaritas have *never* been so challenging), Chaturanga, Upward Dog and yes, in backbending.

She put a block between my thighs in Urdhva Dhanurasana and said "Don't let me take it!" Hey, 'keep away'?! I'm just stubborn enough to rise to a challenge like that! I squeezed that block like hell. After a few seconds, DT casually took it away from me. Sheesh!

If anyone was watching, I'm sure my facial expressions must have been entertaining. That was *hard*.

On my second go, I kept the block for longer, but I'm not sure this was through any strength of my own. It reminded me of playing chess with my dad when I was a child. He would let me think I was doing really well then, all of a sudden, checkmate! ;-)

I've never had so much fun in Urdhva Dhanurasana! And I can't believe I used the words 'fun' and 'Urdhva Dhanurasana' in the same sentence!

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Whomp Moratorium

DT has put a moratorium on my Pincha *Whomps*. I knew it was coming after my disasterous attemps to come into that pose on my own yesterday (I didn't stick the balance even once). I'm at the point now where I need to either go up and stay up, or not go up at all (unless I'm doing a long hold against the wall). DT doesn't want falling to become a pattern and she's got a point: If falling out of Pincha was the full expression of the pose, I'd have that one in the bag!

Today, instead of trying to go up, I set up in the middle of my mat, walked my feet in and stayed on my tippy toes. I may add lifting one leg. I'm actually moderately competent at balancing with one leg up, the other leg in a pike, so I may try that too.

Alas, all of this planning is a moot point as of today because my dreaded LH is here. No inversions for a few days! :-( I'll be practising a low-key Primary or less for the rest of the week, though I might squeeze in some Intermediate on Friday.

On the bright side, this gives me a chance to work on my jumpbacks and jumpthroughs. Today, DT offered some additional instruction for the jumpback. The second or third time I tried it, I was able to find the 'lift' to jump back (it was probably just a milimetre of lift, but it felt huge to me!).

I'll have plenty of opportunities to explore this in the coming week, if I'm feeling up to it.

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Monday, July 11, 2011

I need more arms!

If Sundays are my 'superhero practices', Mondays are my 'reality check practices'. Today wasn't bad, it just wasn't great.

I struggled with nearly everything that felt easy on Sunday. Laghu Vajrasana felt impossible, so of course I couldn't repeat yesterday's success in Kapotasana either, and Pincha was just plain hard. Hard and scary and *whomp* and get up and try again and *whomp*.

While I was at the wall, DT came over and helped me stay in the balance, nudging my legs in one direction and then the other as I swayed like a wet noodle in space. I was determined to stay up for as long as she was willing to stand there, but eventually I started to faceplant and had to bail. I asked her about gazepoint and she said definitely the floor - not the hands. I'm relieved. It's so much easier!

The only thing that didn't feel particularly difficult today was the leg-behind-head poses. Surprise! Last week, LBH was pure misery, which I dreaded every day. My complaints this week are mostly logistical. In Dwi Pada, I can get my left leg behind my head fairly easily, but when I go for the right leg, my right calf suddenly seems HUGE and there's no easy way to wiggle it over my shoulder.

I know, I know! These crazy first world problems! ;-)

If I had the balance, I could extend my right arm and push my lower leg over my shoulder with my left hand. Of course, I'm still struggling to balance in Dwi Pada and even if I could, I'm pretty sure that manoeuvre would completely throw me off.

I think it might be helpful to have more than one set of arms. Is this why some Indian deities have eight arms? They could sure come in handy...

I'll bet Goddess Durga has *no* problem with Dwi Pada Sirsasana, ya think?!
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Sunday, July 10, 2011


Sunday practice is always a break in routine because our shala hours run from ten to noon, much later than I'm used to. But lately, I've been having these awesome, epic practices on Sunday. They set the tone for my week.

I had a breakthrough today in my vinyasas. I'm now putting the skinny blocks aside for jumpthroughs. Last week, I realised that most of the time, I can jump through with my feet clearing the floor, even with hands are on the floor. Jumpbacks are another story (the blocks are staying for that part).

Last week, with DT's encouragement, I started working on the second part of the jumpthrough. I can now Lolasana and bring my feet through my arms. Then I touch my toes down. DT wants me to bend my elbows and shift my weight forward and lift up, into a sort of Lolasana-in-Chaturanga.

It's hard, seemed impossible when I first tried it, but during my Primary on Friday, I started to find it. I'll be working on that this week. DT has also cracked down on my Padmasana jumpbacks. No more lazy! I need to work harder on those.

Other progress to report: I discovered last Thursday that I could come back up from Kapotasana, using blocks. Today, I tried to go back into Kapo using the blocks and was then able to come back up again. This is huge because it means I'm starting to access my upper back to come up. I need this action to stand up from Urdhva Dhanurasana.

I didn't have help in Pincha today. I did it three times against the wall, then I moved to the middle of my mat. I'm developing some real finesse in my 'drop-and-roll' technique - I barely make a sound when I fall over now (not sure this is a skill I want to have!).

But! I came up and held the pose for two breath cycles. That's something. I can build on that.

Eka Pada Sirsasana? :-)

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Clear waters

A hard drive crash is the digital equivalent of a house-fire - you lose absolutely everything and realise that most of what was lost wasn't essential. Good backups are like insurance - you're able to replace the stuff that really matters.

After a weekend spent restoring, clearing out and catching up, my virtual house is in order. I even cleared the extraneous flotsam and jetsam off of my iPad. It feels like a clean slate!

Saturday is my day off Mysore-style practice, but I do a lot of yoga. In the morning, I practised for a half-hour, just to get my body moving and prepped for a morning of teaching classes. I attended an afternoon vinyasa class (the one that always kicks my ass) with my teacher.

Then I went to a shalamate's garden party and enjoyed an afternoon of good conversation and easy laughter with a group of brilliant spirits. There was guacamole! And flourless chocolate cake! Doesn't get much better than that, does it?

My desktop is now pristine!

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Life injuries

I seem to be doing a pretty good job avoiding yoga injuries these days. And when something pops up, DT is usually able to sleuth it out and help me modify my practice to avoid aggravating it.

A couple weeks ago, that weird cramping pain around my right shoulder blade returned. It's been haunting me on and off for at least four years. After I mentioned it, DT probed the area during my Paschimottanasana squish until she found the cramp and applied some pressure, which helped a lot.

I was amazed that this shady chimera of mine was something real and tangible that could be poked and identified. "You can really feel it?" I asked in astonishment. "Of course!!" DT replied. This is one of the fringe benefits of having a teacher who is also a massage therapist!

DT made some suggestions for my Chaturanga and I've also worked on improving my posture on my bicycle. Whatever it was, it's gone now.

I seem to be having more trouble with 'life injuries' than 'yoga injuries'. It took over two weeks for the wound on my left elbow to heal and the bruising has only just started to feel less tender.

This morning, I opened the front door into my foot and smooshed my second toe. I managed to limp through Primary Series this morning by avoiding rolling over my toes, but when I got home, I could barely walk.

I'll need to wear open-toe shoes for the next few days.

Dr. Kitty is helping me feel better!

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

A shift

I haven't been doing a very good job of writing short, concise posts, have I? Here's one.

Beyond the daily intensity of Pincha Mayurasana, I have a lot going on. My hard drive crashed this week, but my glass is half full: I'm seizing this opportunity to start fresh and clean. I replaced the drive, restored my data from backups and all is well (almost done!). It's been time consuming, but kind of fun.

Cat sitting season is in full swing! I'm visiting with two lovely kitties twice a day and I absolutely *heart* them. The gray one loves belly rubs, the brown one likes to play. I'm having a ball tending them.

Those LBH poses are rocking my body boat. The left hip has always been my 'tight' side. There's been a shift - the right side is tighter. Over the past few days, I've been receiving intensely deep adjustments in Eka Pada, especially on the right side. Agony, but the good kind.

Tomorrow: Primary Series and hopefully, a long, satisfying nap.


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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Gravity is friendly!

I'm so glad I decided to write about my nervousness with inversions. Judging from the comments and emails I've received, many of you are facing or have faced a similar struggle.

For those of you who are still learning the pose, take heart. It felt impossible to me for a long time, but now I feel solid and comfortable in the pose - anywhere. I demo it in my classes and carry on a non-stop monologue while I'm upside down. I have conversations with my friends in headstand, I listen to CBC radio in headstand. If I could figure out a way to read a book in headstand, I'd probably do it.

I love the pose - but it took me a while to get there.

My first headstand came at a yoga retreat in 2000. I had been doing home yoga practice for years, with an occasional beginners Iyengar class but I never seemed to explore the inversions, or I managed to avoid them.

At the retreat, I looked around slack-jaw at all of these people standing on their heads, legs floating serenly. Someone at the retreat offered to teach me (brave woman!). It required two people and a very solid wall to get me into the pose and I lasted mere seconds. I hated it.

I didn't revisit the pose again until 2003 when I started yoga teacher training. Learning Sirsasana became an urgent project; I didn't want to be the only one in YTT who couldn't do a headstand! I taught myself using the wall and near the wall I stayed. I only started moving away from the wall after I began Ashtanga practice in 2007.

Within a year, I was able to come into the pose kicking up one leg at a time (or lifting my very bent knees). But I could do it in the middle of the room! The key to this breakthrough was learning to fall. I did this at the park and forced myself to fall out of the pose every conceivable way.

It took another year to learn the straight-leg entry. Only in the last two years has the pose started to feel completely comfortable to me. These days, I'm pretty happy holding Sirsasana for up to 10 minutes if I'm not already tuckered out from a long practice.

As I was reading through my blog archives trying to piece together this chronology, I stumbled across a post praising David Swenson's tips for Sirsasana A & B in his book. His comments on Sirsasana B were the Rosetta Stone that helped me come up with straight legs. Coming up with straight legs was the key that helped me feel truly confident doing the pose away from the wall. When kicking up, I had no control, but lifting up allowed me to find my centre and keep it.

Here's the snippet that triggered my lightbulb moment:
"In order to lift the feet from the floor, it will be necessary to transfer your weight behind you. This will actually create a momentary unbalancing. This unbalancing is what will draw the feet upward. The trick is to bring the hips back to the centre line as the feet rise."

See? Gravity is your friend! When you shift your hips slightly past your shoulders, the legs become light and coming up is easy (but then you need to shift the hips back). I discovered that if I moved slllloooowly and with care, I could regain my centre after the lift.

Today, as I was scanning Swenson's comments for Sirsasana A, I found a description of my precise problem in Pincha Mayurasana. For those of you who are curious about my alignment quirks in that pose, this sums it up nicely: "There is a tendency to push the ribs forward and collapse in the lower back..."

Swenson suggests recreating the pose while standing, keeping the ribs drawn in, the sit-bones dropped and the legs working. I might try this tomorrow.

(Angry Samurai doesn't like inversions either! Photo taken at our local history natural history museum)

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I have a confession. No, make that *two* confessions. I got a new pose last week, Pincha Mayurasana. And it's scaring me to pieces.

I don't have a amiable history with inversions. It took me 10 years to learn headstand, 10 years!!! During the first five years of my yoga practice, I simply refused to do it! And handstand still scares the daylights out of me, even at the wall (away from the wall, it *really* freaks me out; I had a mini-meltdown in the Darby's workshop last October when Joanne insisted that I do it).

When I started Intermediate Series last summer, Pincha loomed menacingly on my horizon but still seemed far away. When I split Primary last month, it went from being a 'someday thing' to a 'any time now thing'. The thought of doing the pose in the middle of the room was terrifying.

So I started working on it at home, at the wall, trying to immune myself to The Fear. A few weeks ago, I started doing it at the shala - adding it with the handstands I scare myself with every day before Bakasana. I'm glad I brought it to DT's attention because I really needed help with alignment.

Last week, DT officially added Pincha to my practice. I wasn't expecting it, in fact, I was resting in child's pose that day because Tittibhasana had wrung me out and I was feeling sluggish. When DT stepped to the front of my mat and said "Pincha Mayurasana! Let's go!", I was kind of in shock.

I did the pose, but I was a basket case. My arms were sliding all over the place, I was fuzzy-brained and my body felt like a wet noodle waving around in space. I spent the rest of that week in a tizzy. I couldn't stop thinking about how afraid I was. DT was spotting me every day, but I knew there was an expiration on that kind of help.

So, mid-week I took Pincha to the park. In the same soft grass I learned to drop back on, I came into Pincha Mayurasana, then I fell. Over and over again, I fell out of the pose. I fell until falling didn't make me weak with fear, until my brain realised I wasn't going to DIE. I even mastered the whole 'drop-n-roll' thing and started to feel little less anxious.

On Sunday, I set up in the middle of my mat and came into the pose without a spot. Of course, I fell. DT looked up and shrugged. "It happens." I tried again, and I fell. Pincha, flip, *whomp* Repeat as necessary! The third time, I was physically shaking but I gave it another go. I hovered for a nanosecond, then I fell again. *Whomp*

DT came over to assist. She had me come up a second time and told me to lotus my legs and lower them. Karandavasana! I faceplanted. *groan* I tried again. I faceplanted but she helped me lift back up. Then I collapsed into anxious heap on my mat. I'm under no illusion that I've been 'given' Karandavasana. What I've been given is a memo telling me that I'm far, far away from being strong enough to do that pose! Holy smokes, that was HARD.

DT is interested in two things: alignment and long holds to build strength. So I'm working at the wall every day, holding the balance for as long as I can (it's not very long). I try to take Pincha away from the wall at least once during every practice. Today, I *whomped*, but I also had one magic moment when I hovered perfectly in balance and came back down.

It's interesting how this new pose adds a completely different flavour to my practice. I used to dread Tittibhasana. Now I drag my heels through Tittibhasana because I'm dreading what comes next. My nervous system has been absolutely *fried*. I've had some trouble with insomnia and I've been sleeping fitfully.

But here's what really boggles my mind: I'm going to get up tomorrow morning and do it again. And the next day too! I'm not brave - where is this coming from? Is it my stubborn steak? Is it faith? I think this stuff may be making me stronger in places far deeper than muscle. I think I'm learning to say 'no' to the part of my brain that says "I can't".

And that's scaring me a little bit too.

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Accidental Hiatus

Summer was seductive and elusive this year. She approached coyly, dancing just out of reach, then finally swept me up in a tight embrace. I found myself instantly smitten, dizzy with heat and honeysuckle and the intoxicating glow of day lilies.

I've been so distracted! I think I'm in love :-D. This is my season! I adore the sun, I crave the heat and luxuriate in the slower pace of the summer months. I even love the humidity (you can take a girl out of the South, but I guess you can't take the South out of the girl!).

I haven't been blogging because I've been busy soaking up sunshine under flawless blue skies, snacking on fresh-picked mulberries along endless afternoon walks and spending my evenings on the balcony with friends, watching sunsets paint the skyscrapers pink.

I've also been doing a LOT of yoga. During the last weeks of June, my teaching schedule trickled to part-time. On most days, in addition to morning Mysore practice, I've been going to other yoga classes. A dear, longtime friend of mine is visiting from abroad. He loves hot yoga so I've been going to as many hot classes as I can fit in. I've been revisiting some of my favourite teachers at Hot Central and it's been so much fun! I've also been attending a couple of vinyasa classes each week and filling in the gaps with some fun home practices.

I should also come clean about something: I haven't been writing because I really don't know what to say about my practice.

I'm in the first months with this new-to-me teacher in a new shala with rules that I'm still trying to figure out. Practising in this room sometimes feels like a game of Whac-a-Mole. You know the one I'm talking about? At carnivals?

The player holds a big, soft 'hammer' and the 'moles' stick their heads out. But as quickly as they appear, they disappear. One appears in a corner and you think you've nailed it, but another one pops up just as quickly in the far corner. Then another, then another, all in different places. It's disorienting. You can't keep up with them!

Photo credit: Filched off the Internet. If it's yours, let me know and I'll credit you.

I've been bombarded with a lot of new information over the past three months, which I'm slowly trying to integrate into my practice. But whenever I think I've finally figured something out, another thing pops up. I think DT is sometimes frustrated by my seeming inattention to the details, but I really *am* listening to her. It's just a lot to process. My practice has changed ten-fold in the past three months. I think my brain is still catching up with my body.

Sometimes, I feel a bit lost.

After years of practising Primary, I'm facing Intermediate on my mat every day. I never thought I would be here. I used to insist that I would never get to second series. Only very recently have I started to feel like this is *my* practice, the work I'm supposed to be doing. For a while there, I felt like an interloper, doing someone else's yoga practice. Intermediate is challenging and awesome, but I still snuggle back into Primary on Fridays, feeling like a child sheltering under a favourite blanket.

I've made new friends at the new place. My new-favourite-shala-buddy practises right next to me - we share jokes and commiserate over LBH together and she's SO full of awesome. I enjoy being in a room where people support one another and laugh out loud during the funny moments.

But the majority of my shalamates share this common history, having followed DT from her last room. I'm one of a few who came from elsewhere. There are moments when I feel like stranger and wonder if I'll ever really fit in with this crowd.

My practice continues to evolve. Laghu Vajrasana is no longer the FML pose. I can come down to the floor and stay for five (very short) breaths before coming up again. I'm trying to build strength and endurance to stay in the pose longer and come up stronger. I'm also trying to translate the action into the Kapotasana exit.

The leg-behind-head stuff vacillates between 'awesome' and 'agony'. But swinging my legs into Dwi Pada Sirsasana is so natural now, it's hard to believe it ever felt impossible. During my weekly Primary, I regularly Dwi Pada into Supta Kurmasana, lower down, and then do the full exit when I'm done. It's one of the most satisfying moments of my week. :-D

I will try to write here more often. I might take a page from my friend Serene Flavour's book and write shorter posts. I know I'm going to feel like a moving target when I blog about getting new poses, but the reality is, I'm doing Intermediate for real. This is my practice now.

I'm still smarting a bit from the criticism that was lobbed at me when I split Primary (it wasn't the anonymous jabs that stung the most - the real hurt came from people I considered friends). I'm still feeling alienated and wary of the Cybershala these days. I email with a few people and follow a handful of blogs, but I'm not on Twitter much anymore and I've withdrawn into the 'real world' which isn't such a bad thing, actually.

But I've cultivated this web-space with such care and honesty over the years, I'd like to maintain it. So I'll take a stab at posting daily this week and see how it goes..

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