Thursday, 16 September 2010

Practice update

One of the reasons I did not blog for a while was because I had little interest in writing about the physical dimension.  Ironically since being split, all that has changed.  My practice is completely different and has changed even from last week.  Every time I get on the mat, I am curious to see what it will be like.

It takes a while for me to warm up, with my long practice pre split it would not be until supta kurmasana that I started to feel warm at home.  So second series at home sans primary is a challenge.  The first time I tried it, my body was like, hey are you serious!  Every pose reverted to where it was when I first got given in it, right from the get go, so no wrist in pasasana, leg less height in krounchasana, etc.  Oh and kapotasana, meh!   Pre split, it was better than ever I was about 1 cm from heels solo.  Last week I crawled to my toes, just.

I actually like to do a challenging practice, so I'm not complaining.  It forces me into the moment and teaches me so much about myself physically and mentally.  I do like to work at those hard poses though.  My kapotasana routine at home is hardcore.  At the shala I get assisted straight into it, no drama.  On Monday I looked at my teacher and thought about telling him how hard it had been at home and then decided to forget the drama and he took me to my heels.  Best jut to do, sometimes.

I realised at the weekend that even though my kapotasana seems physically right back where it started in other ways it isn't.  It is no longer (at least for now) emotionally traumatic and I have learnt one hell of a lot about how to do it.  Now it is just a matter of practice and lots of it).

So eliminating primary was bound to be strange for my body.  It is already adapting, after just two weeks.  Wrist bind is back for pasasana on first side,  Kapotasana is deeper, just past toes.  Kapotasana routine is currently 2-3 hang backs 10 breaths, two kapo B's for one minute (this warms me up, lol!)  and 3 attempts at kapotasana A.  Am I crazy, I actually kinda like it, on a good day!

New poses are like new toys.  Yoga nidrasana is not the rest I was expecting but a great way to open the hips as I can really work deep here, feel like I get more of a stretch on left side though, which is a shame, my right hip is tighter.  Tittibhasana A, can't land it high, working on that.  Tittibhasana B can do but legs burn by the end and then C comes and C is so hard, I'm amazed my legs don't ache after though, just at the time.  Not loving that pose!

Pincha, better this week, almost found the right amount of momentum to get up each time.  Yesterday, 3 breaths solo in the middle of the room.  Fun!

This week has been challenging, lots of mad life stuff.  I don't feel as calm as I usually would and wonder if it's the shift to second series having an effect.  Primary tomorrow, I wonder what that will be like...If I could use one word to describe how practice is going, I would use curious.

In other news my partner is going to be doing a job in London for 6 weeks, will miss him obviously.  So may be visiting London and thus my teacher sooner than planned, we will see.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Retreat, kino and split epic

Well my poor blog has been a little abandoned, I had thought about giving it up. Lots of inner change recently, difficult to clarify as I am still in the midst of it.

Anyhow, I am back, at least for now. Lots to report, well it has been about two months since I wrote last, I think!

I went on a yoga retreat with Louise Ellis in Italy. She has a truly beautiful presence and I almost feel like I learnt the most from just meeting her. She also taught me a lot about kapotasana, mostly encouraging and helping me to open my upper back more. It felt so much better and I felt so much more energised after practice. So when I got back I decided to buy a yoga chair, which I hang off in order to open my upper back up, hard to work on it solo otherwise. I hang there for 5 minutes, so I do it separate to my astanga practice.

Last week I went to some if kino's workshops in London. I did a led primary, a Mysore class, an into to second workshop and then went to see my teacher, the following day. Phew! Led was fun, I do not get a chance to do led primary very often and went to help my own teaching as well as personal faff reduction. Found it hard to focus in the Mysore session but the practice was physically okay. Did chakra bhandasana with assistance for the first time in months. Intro to second was useful for me as she gave some ways to explore the poses which will be useful for me when I am working on them at home. Socially workshop was also fun, two of my students came as well as the London blogger crew.

So the following day I went to my teachers to practice. I had not seen my teacher for two months and was happy to be there. I find I have a much more focused practice there, the energy and focus in the shala is amazing.

I wasn't sure if I wanted any new poses, I was happy with my practice, which should have been a give away. This practice is rarely easy, which I think is great for the ego, it very humbling. You can probably see where this is going... I was given yoga nidrasana and tittibhasana, which is really four poses. Bear in mind I had done full primary first and a yoga workshop that weekend. Oh and tittibhasana c is so hard, my legs are screaming in that pose! I said to my teacher "that's hard!" then I did my vinyasa and my teacher said "pinch mayurasana". I thought I must have misheard because I was so tired and I have never been given more than two poses in one day. So I checked and then did it with some help.

After pincha I thought woah I am going to be split soon. I was suddenly really nervous about the prospect. Having done primary for five and half years it's quite a change! After practice told me to do only intermediate from now on. I was really shocked. I actually said "really even though I can't balance in pincha!". He said I would have more energy to work on it. I was very suprised but I trust my teacher and it's nice he thinks I am ready.

Practicing just intermediate at home last week was harder than I thought. My body was just not warmed up enough and the poses reverted about six months. I am feeling pretty chilled about that though, I mean I will work on them and then move on, so I guess I do care but actually when a pose is hard you have to be so present, that's a great teacher. Once I have tried my best I move on with the rest of my practice and my life, that's all we can ever do, be it an asana or a life event. Moment to moment.

That said, it was nice to practice in the warmth of the shala again this weekend, I was visiting family in London. Heat, group energy and teachers presence make it much easier or harder depending on how you look at it;-)

Am on the train home now, will have 4 weeks of solo practice before my next trip to my teacher. Have been fairly spoilt for teachers recently but I think it will be kinda nice to explore my new practice at home....

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