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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Early Ashtanga; 1989 Derek Ireland and Radha full Demo of Ashtanga 2nd series ( plus a little of 3rd). - My teacher here in Rethymno, Crete, Kristina Karitinou, gave me access to an old Ashtanga file and some discs last week, I've been busy posting some tre...
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