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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  1. H. Good to have you back in blogland, you always write some thoughtful posts. Pincha at home without help must be hard though. The heat and Shala energy makes such a difference.

    What's the difference between a "Yoga Chair" and a normal one?

  2. Please tell more about the retreat with Louise. Was it mysoe in the mornings and how many were you? Did she also teach yin classes and/or pranayama and/or give some Q&A?

  3. Yay for the split! It's a brand new era in your practice! I'm really glad you're still blogging - I always look forward to your posts.

    I'm curious about the yoga chair too. I've never heard of that!

    How are you working Pincha? Are you working against at wall or free-standing?

  4. it is so nice to be in a shala with others working on the same subject.
    when i am at home, alone for month, m practise is going down and for a week, may be it will be up. for now, it was very down, only 45 minutes in morning and half an hour meditation envening, this is what i can save and develop for now... i so wish to be abble to go in a classe soon, reading about others yoga' at home is ver helpfull

  5. Thanks for the comments. Ha Kevin and Kai have I out yoga geeked you. A yoga chair has no back, you can use them for all sorts of things and my Iyengar teacher uses them. You can cut out the back of a normal chair, which would be much cheaper. I am doing pretty similar thing to the bed hang thing that susan recommends with it but for me a chair is more convenient as I can't hang off the bed when my partner sleeps! Here is a link.

    Re pincha, my difficulty with it is finding just the right amount of momentum to get up there without a wall. Just practice, I think. I don't really have any wall space at home but as my teacher said yesterday at least I won't get wall dependent. Held it for ten breaths yesterday but touched the wall with one foot first.

    Roselil there were mysore sessions in the morning and yin yoga with a bit of pranayama every other evening. Not sure how many people maybe 30.

    lilsvb, hi, yes it's nice to know there are others out there at home too!

  6. Not technically a Yoga Chair (though it also has no back) this amazing yoga chair helps me maintain my gains from my morning practice all the way to the end of a long day of knowledge work.

  7. Congratulations on the split hope you don't miss your primary too much.

  8. Thanks Grimmly, primary friday tomorrow, I'm excited!