Monday, December 17, 2012
I can really feel the lack of light this year. Not sure if it the weather, my stress levels at the holidays, or the practice itself. Getting up at 530 just doesn't seem at all natural at this time of year. I want to sleep 10 hours a night, which is truly unusual for me, as a long time 6 hours a night sleeper. Part of me is in hibernation mode, like a bear. Now I have the funny image in my head of a bear practicing ashtanga, well maybe they would skip the yoga and go straight to either savasana or the snacks afterwards.
Practice lately has been wiping me out. I think it is partly from having a new teacher for this month, and getting lots and lots of seemingly small adjustments to my practice, which seem to add up to an overwhelming amount of change for me to assimilate. Last week, I had a lot of stress about practicing and a large part of it was feeling overwhelmed by the depth of the series, and the feeling that I was just scratching the surface (though that is a fine place to be).
Today's adjustments included – turning the back foot out more in the surya B’s, extended arm/shoulder rotation in standing poses, arms/hands moved higher up the back in parshvottanasana (this time it felt more stable), knee positions in Janu A and C (no more lovely hanging out in the Janu’s for me..sigh. They were my favorite postures and the place where I would catch my breath finally after standing and before the ramping up of the maris), head back more in the second part of upavishtha konasana, baddha konasana squash, supta K, and a final paschi squash. I tried the new backbending procedure – instead of coming all the way down (to contemplate the ceiling for 3 breaths) place head down only between backbends. It wasn’t as brutal as I thought it would be. I am also trying to be more aware of when I come out of the seated asanas..inhale look up, and then come out halfway into the exhale to prep for lifting up. I was using the entire exhale before as lift prep. At present, I don’t have enough breath or whatnot to manage the correct vinyasa – lift only on the inhale. I still need to organize my body to be ready for that inhale. So be it. Paying attention to all this stuff is exhausting. Plus, most days my regular teacher would only give me 3-4 assists, and some days I would get none at all, which was fine with me. I could work on my focus and breath.
Bhuja report- still stuck to the ground on the way back up. The only improvement is that I can now jump my feet in front of my hands ( I sort of land softly on my fingers). This is probably not the best time of the month for me for anything that requires extra bandha strength, as ladies holiday was this weekend. I managed the sputa K exit, and I suspect for me, truly nailing the exits will come before I manage coming up from bhuja.
The solstice cannot come soon enough for me.
Friday’s concert, Mantra Percussion, playing Timber by Michael Gordan, was truly wonderful, even cathartic; best music I have heard in a long time (the only thing that might have beaten it this year would have been seeing Einstein on the Beach, but I waited too long to try to buy tickets). What amazed me afterwards was that this piece contains no improvisation, but feels fresh and spontaneous, like good jazz.