Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Reading

I have been reading a really good book recently, Teaching Meditation to Children by David Fontana and Ingrid Slack. Interestingly the introduction to the book which discusses the benefits of meditation really resonated with me, as the benefits of my yoga practice. Recently I was articulating some of this inner experience to someone else and found it difficult to describe. When I was reading the book, I found a description of the experience that I was explaining described from another persons perspective. This helped me to clarify my own experience to myself and others much like a conversation with a good friend who knows you well can do.

The experience that I was initially describing was about being in a difficult situation and yet being totally calm and able to respond from the calm space inside myself. Despite this sense of calm the situation itself still brought up some difficult emotions for me but because of this inner calm I was able to observe my reactions rather than reacting from them.

One thing I like about reading books about yoga or in this case meditation is that because I have a regular practice some things resonate with me. Each time I read the yoga sutras I get something else out of it. I think it is more about experiencing things directly than reading about or intellectualising the process. However, sometimes I find it interesting to verbally explain to someone else or myself what I am experiencing. Sometimes the words of another person through written word or conversation can be incredibly helpful.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Second series

Yesterday I practiced full second series with Richard Freeman. I like practicing second series with his DVD it keeps me chilled in the midst of intensity. The first time I did second series there was a lot I couldn't do. I found it difficult to keep my focus, it was like being a beginner all over again which as a teacher was incredibly useful as an experience.

I have only done the full second series sequence four times I think, I have been practicing it once a week. Each time I seem to improve in a posture which seems fast progress but that's like being a beginner too. I guess a lot of the progress I have made is mental, at first I would be like, you want me to put what where? Now I just have a go and sometimes I am surprised. This week I managed to land in Bakasana B and managed peacock sort of but not for full five breaths.

My normal practice today which is full second and up to kapotasana. On my right side I can get hold of the foot fairly easily on the left side my shoulder seems to get confused and I flail a bit. Still today touching toes on both sides. I tried to stay in kapotasana B a little longer and slow my breath down, to find ease in this. Felt good in an intense way, feel like I can really get deep doing this and begin to open up.



Thursday, 23 July 2009

longer practice

My class was cancelled this morning so I decided to practice for a little bit longer. My primary was fluid and my mind focused. I felt strong, sometimes I feel tired by Thursday so that was good. You never know what's going to happen when you step onto your mat. That's been especially true recently...

Still felt good when I got to Kapotasana, so decided to keep going to pincha mayarasana. Naughty I know but life's an adventure after all. My backbends have got much deeper than I ever imagined, I can now see my legs in urdva dhanurasana and am amazed how close they are.

I've been doing full second by itself once a week, usually Sunday. I'm going on a workshop with Danny Paradise at the end of August and wanted some familiarity with the postures. Find it interesting to work with something new, really have to focus to keep the breath controlled. Have only done the full sequence 3 times and amazed at the progress week to week. Talking of which landed Bakasana B today hooray.