Friday, January 11, 2013

rewards and yoga body

On Wednesday, my reward, so to speak, for looking like I was having an easier time with some things was to get to do more. No, thankfully, no new poses. Just deepening and fuller poses. I am the sort of person who (usually) doesn't want to ask my teacher too many questions on the stuff I can't do during practice..because questions usually require several extra attempts at said difficult pose! Ironically, I worked extra hard at the beginning of the week, thinking I would have at least 1 day's break during the week for LH, which was annoyingly late..arriving today, when it won't be of any use as a practice break.

So this will be a very practice heavy post, but there was a lot for me to absorb this week. Unlike the many strong adjustments and changes to get me to increase my flexibility in forward bending and hip openers (with the annoyingly predictable results- give almost all gains back as my body is not strong enough yet to support going that deep), these are all aimed at increasing strength, and bandha strength, which I will need for better backbending.

No more forehead plopping in bhuja; I am learning to place my chin on the ground. At this stage, this might be good for making my nose shorter! Thursday, I tried on my own- 1st attempt- fall on butt, afraid to lower down into impending neck and chin doom, 2nd attempt - lower down, more of an uncomfortable face plant than a chin touch, quickly shifted onto my forehead to take the weight off my face and neck. Made my usual struggle to come up (gravity won), then my teacher sees me, and has me repeat, since I didn't manage on my own (how do they always notice when you don't do something?). Attempt #3 with assist, successful, seems like it will be easier to go down and up this way, especially once I remember that I can use my feet a bit to keep the weight from being taken by my neck! My teacher assures me that this way is a lot easier for the vinyasa, and that it is really really hard to come up from having my forehead on the ground (yes, pretty much impossible for me).

Also got to start doing UHP by extending the leg up and catching my big toe (no more nice bring bent leg up and extend)..whoa this feels so weird right now. I can just manage it, but it is hard! This is supposed to help with my last pose, so I can learn to roll up on my own (right).

Lots of attempts at urdhva mukha paschimottanasan, too many perhaps. No rolling up with bent legs allowed, even after I fell over while she assisted me. I received this zen koan: pull with the legs to roll up. Hopefully, this instruction will make sense in time. My teacher finally gave me the -bowl the yoga student assist- and I magically managed to stop and balance on my bum - feet pointed and chest slightly arched. First time I did it, so at least my brain has figured that part out, from doing the pose before. As for the rolling up, when my teacher put me in the full lying down holding and holding my feet position, I felt like I was stuck in glue...there was no way I could imagine rolling up at all, or even moving. I think I will be at this pose for a while, but that's ok.

Oh, and lest I forget, the intense mari C assist so that I start to learn to lift up when I twist. Mari C is still my least favorite pose...just when it wasn't seeming so awful anymore, this new twist on it...

After my run of feeling hungry all the time, the famished thing seems to have gone away for a couple be replaced by a feeling like a bloated whale that cannot lift herself up. Was quite relieved when I finished on Thurdsay. Much earned moonday.

I started reading Yoga Body by Mark Singleton. I am not too far into it yet, and I wandered over to Claudia's excellent review of the book. What strikes me as curious is why as westerners, we have to try to own a practice that doesn't come from the west, by finding western influences. I am not saying that they are not there, but maybe that this is an incomplete or one sided approach. I am, however, not at that part of the book yet, this is just my reaction to reading reviews of the book. The book is interesting reading, though a little jargony at times for me.


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