I won't fall back on the 'busy' excuse because the truth is, if I wanted to, I could have made time for the blog. The truth is, I've been going through so many challenges and changes that simply didn't translate well into a written narrative.
The past month has been such a whirlwind! Late last month, I left the shala I had practised at for the past year and took a brief break (okay, two days) to rest a recurrence of a lower back issue.
This time, the pain manifested as back spasms and I can honestly say that it was one of the more painful things I've experienced, right up there with major surgery and the original back injury that caused me to leave my career in archaeology. On the worst day, I couldn't even demo poses in my classes. One of my senior students stepped up and demo'ed for me - even the Hatha classes she was less familiar with.
But when the spasms stopped, they stopped completely. I was left very sore, but otherwise I felt okay. I returned to practice with a gentle Primary Series and it felt terrific, so I decided to continue in that vein. For the month of May, Shala North opened a satellite location downtown. The teacher, DR, reached out to me and made it possible for me to practise there. So I've been doing this: daily Primary Series in a traditional Mysore room, which I'm enjoying a lot, with lots of support with assisted backbends.
Initially, I approached these very gingerly and DR gave me lots of help. If I'm going to drop back and stand up, I absolutely *need* to do it with good alignment because otherwise I can cause strain to my back. DR has been a stickler about keeping my feet parallel and making me use my legs. The result: one week in, I was doing solo dropbacks again! I'm not yet standing up from Urdhva Dhanurasana without help, but when I do, I'm confident that I'll be doing it with parallel feet.
I've also been working the hell out of the vinyasas, trying to build more strength in my lift-up/jumpback. My arms are looking stellar! ;-D
Practising at this temporary shala has been loads of fun! It's like a reunion of sorts, a gathering of Asthangis from across the city. I'm practising with people from every shala I've ever been to! Practically my entire old posse from Shala Central is there - many of whom I haven't spoke with for a couple of years. I've really loved practising and connecting with them again. And it's been great fun practising in the same space as my friend Cabbage - we've been taking advantage of this with frequent, fun Sunday brunches.
I'll miss this when it ends. We have just one more week...
(Princess Fur is doing great. And her hips are still super-open. I'm jealous!)
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