Saturday, 23 January 2010

Shala Practice

Woke up dark and early to get the train to London for a shala practice.  Slept both on way there and back as well as reading, so feel refreshed despite the early start.  It was a nice practice, nice heat which suprised me, (it's a big room), my elbows slid into position for the last supta vajrasana.  Nice to have someone there when I do kapotasana, kinda reassuring.  Reminds me of learning to drop back,the teacher that helped me with them  stood and talked me through drops for a week without adjusting before leaving me to get on with it.  I asked him to see if my hangback was okay, he said it was fine.  Not a deep assist but lots of instruction which will help me do it alone.

As I hang back I need to keep hips up legs strong.  I was doing that bit, what was different was going down, I need to go back on myself making full use of back bend, I was going back too much I think.  Think I need to keep pushing up the whole time too, like in largu.  This keeping lift seemed to help Kapotasana B feel okay again, had felt I was overworking my lumber recently and couldn't work out why.  It did not used to feel like that.  So think it all makes more sense now.  My back is less open than it was last month but  at least I know what I'm doing more.  Somehow knowing how to work at it is more important to my practice than what I can actually do.  Thought I would write this post while experience was fresh, I'm taking my day off tomorrow since I have practised today. A lie in :)

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Ode to Kapotasana

Yoga is a continual process of refinement and I find that process gradually increases my awareness, so the outer journey becomes an inner one.  In Ashtanga, the sequences are challenging, there is normally at least one pose that feels really challenging.  Last year I didn't really have any of those poses.

I have had many such journeys in Ashtanga Mari B and then D, supta kurmasana, drop backs, standing up , etc.  I like the challenge that these poses bring.  I really focus and learn a lot about the actions which definitely helps me with my teaching.  Most of all I like what they teach me about who I am.  As I strive with some misplaced ambition only to surrender to the practice. Now with years of experience behind me, I know that my body will change that all I have to do is get onto my mat, but I forget this valuable lesson sometimes ; )

I enjoyed last years practice because I worked more on fluidity and my breath and these things are more important than any bind.  My practice changed a great deal, especially the vinyasa aspect which for me helps bring a more meditative flow.  I was frustrated at times because I wanted a challenging pose that for me in Ashtanga had always been there.

Now I have two poses which I find hard.  Kapotasana and Supta Vajrasana,  despite my years of practice I still find it amusing to observe my inner procrastinations, how will I ever do this by myself?  I at least now know I will get there, I can do both poses with assistance from my teacher.

Usually I only go to a mysore class once a month but have been finding working on kapotasana by myself hard.  With teacher I can grab my heels although it is hard! By myself I sometimes feel like I am flalling in outer space.  So I decided to go more regularly for a bit, I live in a different city to my teacher so this is not easy.  I have been two weeks in a row now and will be going again on Saturday to a mysore class, not with my teacher but with a very good teacher.  It really helps me keep working at my kapotasana which for me is such a healing journey ....knowing that in just a few days someone will be there is reassuring.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Christmas and new year synopsis

Hello and happy new year.  Had a bit of a break from blogging and from work and feel restored and excited about getting back to it.  I have some new yoga classes starting this week, including a mysore style class.  I love both teaching and practising in Mysore rooms, so am really excited.  Talking of which I am going to London next weekend for a long weekend of mysore classes, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  This is great because I've been feeling a bit lost with Kapotasana, despite grabbing my heels with my teacher they seem a long way away when I am by myself :).

I went away for a few days for Christmas, some time in the Welsh countryside with my partner on my birthday a truly wonderful day and then to the Lakes to visit my mum who was on holiday there.  Really snowy in the lakes we had a great time walking part way up a mountain in the deep snow.

Kept my practice up six days a week, have been having Friday as my day off.  Love the potability of my practice all I need is my mat.