Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Letting go to realise how much there is :)

Went away for a long weekend at the shala, 3 days.  It's hard not to have expectations sometimes when you see teachers so rarely.  Saturday and Sunday, Kapotasana did not go so well, just as deep as at home but no more.  Found myself frustrated and even angry and eventually upset during practice about many inconsequential things.  All unusual states for me so I observed and was amused by the my thoughts rather than reacting to them.  I knew I wasn't really annoyed and frustrated at the mundane things my mind was clinging too.

On Sunday the emotional release reached a pinnacle and I almost cried in Savasana as I realised that the anger I felt was towards my Dad, for being dead.  Obviously not his fault but perfectly understandable response from me, I think.  What was nice about this was realising that this anger related more to the now rather than when he died which was 3 years ago.  I miss him now, having gone through an intense grieving process, I think I had kinda felt our relationship was over, it isn't of course. He was my dad and I love him  still and everything I learnt from him is with me every day.  So it actually ended up being quite a nice insight.  When I was in Savasana and realised where the emotion was coming from, something happened in the main part of the shala and everyone laughed.  No idea what it was but it brought me back into the moment brilliantly.

After that went and had a nice breakfast and lunch with fellow blogger yogis Kevin, Mel and Susan.  Lovely to feel unrushed and share our experiences with this wonderful practice.  The wonderful thing with ashtanga is that we all share similar experiences so it is easy to relate to each others journey.

On Monday I had a much more focused practice, one of those wonderful practices where the mind stays in the moment.  Nice to practice with my teacher too.  Heels in Kapotasana felt better than last time, could breathe much easier, not easily though, it is Kapotasana afterall.  I also got a new pose bharadvajasana.  I grabbed my ankles in the final backbend too, with assistance.  My back is definitely opening, no wonder I am going through so much emotionally.  Feel really grateful and happy to have such a healing practice in my life.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

"Your legs may burn, that's okay" smiles kino

Kino said lots of insightful  things and I learnt a great deal from her workshop, mostly I have come back fully inspired in all areas of my life, not just yoga.  She's  fab!   The above quote has been in my head a lot, mainly because my thighs are aching although not due to the workshop and it makes me laugh.

The led primary was hardcore, she held the poses long. She seems to love the number 4, it goes like this 1.....2....3.....4....(instructs someone specifically) in my head I'm thinking for example, maybe I should not have lifted my heels in Kurmasana and then....finally is it a 5, no 4 again, then 5.  I like to be pushed hard and she certainly did that!  It was Marc's first full primary, he had never been past Mari A before then.  He did really well, it was obviously hard but he loved it.  She helped him bind in Mari A, not bad for a weeks practice.

So when we got to backbending, we did about 9 urdva dhanurasanas! So that's when she said the quote in the blog title.  I love the way she works you hard but is also really nice.  Pushing my physical limits is a great way of removing boundaries in who and what I am. Then she said stand up if you can.  Then drop back, it was my first led drop back, a real cut the faff and go moment.  

She helped me into Kapotasana in the Mysore class on Sunday.  She helped lift but I walked the hands in myself which is a first.  My teacher grabs my hands and puts them there.  Since I have been back I have been even more inspired to work hard in my self practice.  I am continuing to employ boodiba's venki backbend methods.  I do full primary and the second up to Kapo, but then I do Kapo B, 3 times.   Last week I did it for 30 seconds, this week 40.  This is why my thighs are aching.  But it's just muscle fatigue and I need to strengthen them a bit.  Also it's really helping me walk me hands in. I have gone in a little bit further this week from big toe last week to little toe this week.  I sure am glad I have small feet.  So far this week Kapo has been Sunday heels (KIno's help)  Monday and Tuesday (little toe).  Seems more consistent but more importantly I feel more inspired to work at it.  I feel grateful to have a practice that challenges me to rethink the boundaries that my body and mind sometimes think are there.  I even feel grateful for the ache in my legs!

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Workshop preparations

Well getting Marc ready for a workshop in a week is quite some mission.  It doesn't matter how bendy he is.  He could have been practising for years and still be tight.  This is an inner practice, it doesn't matter what it looks like.  I just don't want him to be lost.  So I've taught him a few times but obviously we are both still working and busy busy so we just do what we can.  Yoga is good for helping me let go of any ideals, it just is what it is.

I just got a voice mail from him to say that he arrived early for a job and so has done his yoga practice.  He was busy earlier so couldn't do it.  So I'm chuffed for him that he has fit it in anywhere that he can, but I am also in a state of shock.    Loving it , wonderful to hear about his experiences, I am looking forward to hearing about his practice when he gets home. He told me the biggest change he feels is that he feels more aligned, cool not bad for a week.

In my own practice I have been exploring my backbends.  I do my usual ashtanga practice but then do some extra work at kapo and drop backs, largely hanging back for a minute with my hands in prayer at chest or on forehead.   Today I did Kapotasana B, 3 times, another idea from Venki and Boodiba's blog.  I held mine for 30 seconds but going to increase this next week to 40, Linda does it for 90 but then she has been at it for longer than me.  I have got to my toes and Kapotasana 3 times this week, out of the 5 days I tried.  Tuesday and Wednesday my body was really tight, I think I was a little unwell.  Having tomorrow off so I am well rested for the workshop on Saturday.  Not sure if this is an improvement or not but will start to keep note so I can see.

In other news I started a new yoga class this week, a Mysore style class.  Eleven people turned up.  A great start, I have such enthusiastic students, it is an honour to be part of their journey.