Monday, 28 March 2011

My sore knees..

Don't know what was going on with the knees today but they were crunching like mad is so many postures, it sounds horrid.

I loved doing the sury's today, really made the most of them but I caught my new mat with my toes/toerings and tok 2 great big chunks out of it which disppointed me and made me a bit upset and out of sorts for the rest of the practice! *Note to self - do not become emotionally attached to your mat.

My balance was worse than a baby giraffe, all over the place. I might as well have been a baby giraffe. I probably was one in my past life.

I definately wasn't a tortoise, although my thighs looked slimmer today my arms still didn't want to wrap around them. My chest was no where near the floor and my strange pain in my right hamstring prevented me from staightening my legs. Eurgh...

Backbends were OK, I had some discomfort in my shoulders but I rocked back and forth a few times in each and it eased it a lot, in fact it was quite nice!

Fantastic inversions tonight though, shoulder stand was poker straight and i managed to do 5 breaths with legs parallel in headstand then take legs back up before bringing back down :)

I did my first talk through of sury a's today in our teaching practice. It was sprung upon me, but it was cool and I talked through with no mistakes and whilst I may have been a little quiet, the students followed with no problems. It felt good! I like a bit of adrenalin...

Sunday, 27 March 2011

A week in yoga...

It feels like this has been a long week, but not in a bad way, in fact it's been great, especially with a few days off to enjoy the sun, which, lets face it, has been a long time coming.

I was really looking forward to Monday's mysore practice and luckily it didn't disappoint. My energy levels were high, so managed it with ease, not like last week's, tg. Physically, my knees have been relatively good, yeah they get an air build-up in them in some postures which needs to expel in others causing some clicking but no pain. I've been trying the padmasana postures too, following on from what LM said about every day have new possibilities. Not sure yet whether this is a good thing for them long term, but I'm not pushing too much. My left hamstring is really tight and I get a sensation, not quite a pain, when I stretch, not sure what's going on there, but I'm working on trying to engage the front of my leg to allow the stretch more in the hamstring and using Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) by pressing the heels down in seated forward bends to release the hamstring more which seems to work. My baddhakonasana using PNF is also still working nicely! I can bind most of the time now in supta k, but sometimes this is at the detriment to my ankles being completely crossed, however, it's getting there. It was also good to see D at practice, he hasn't been for a while, his boyish enthusiam exudes good energy!

My teaching before class is getting stronger too, adjustments are coming more easily but I could do with more guidance in adjusting safely. So I'm going to try to get to a Brian Cooper workshop, hopefully sometime in April.

I cooked on Tuesday, chicken korma Maddha Jaffrey-style, mmmmm...

Wednesday I took a leisurely drive over for a late session at Yoga Haven, Ma teaching, Mi was practicing in the corner! I don't really see my Yoga Haven (hot yoga) practices in the same way as I see my ashtanga practice. I guess because the YH is never the same, but MY ashtanga practice is all MINE! With no-one interfering with it! I don't care so much about the posture in HY and just about the overall experience I guess..

Thursday had my led class with V. Lovely hot room made for some nice practice. I tucked myself away in the corner and it was quite meditative. I took some more photos of K in more postures to try and finish my collection of drawings for my practice sheets.

Friday I got a lift over to J's mysore class at the Buddhist Centre, a few of us there from Cov. It was a fun and energetic class. My energy was high and I found myself coming through to sit much smoother without such a "bounce" on the mat before I straighten my legs to sit!! (Although for people practicing jump-to-sits, the bounce does help in the short term!) I'm also trying to jump more up into a mini-handstand before jumping back, so like up then back, which seems to be working, although I can't see what I'm actually doing, so it would be helpful to get hold of a video camera to work on this aspect.. We got a take-away and went back to K's for a bit of a 'last supper' before she left for Finland/NZ. Sad that she's leaving..

Saturday I went to Harlestone for my BWY day. OMG, jam-packed full of info on A&P, I don't know how I'm ever going to remember all of it!! 3 students also started us off on our talks and leading the group through practices. They did really well. I don't have mine until June which I'm a bit disappointed about, I'm looking forward to doing the talk through and the lecture! (Believe it or not!)

Sunday, no practice. Need to rest, also have LH. Have so much homework to do for PF's course I need to crack on with it!!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

The weekend...

I had a rest on Friday after a tiring week and resumed practice on Saturday with MF. We worked on opening the hips for padmasana. It bloody killed. He said that the hips were funny things and that most of the time if someone can get their knees to the ground in baddhakonasana it is a sign that their hips are open, but sometimes there are some strange me! My knees are almost their in BK, but in padmasana their somewhere near my ears! It looks like I've never practice yoga when I try to sit in padmasana! Goddamn posture... I'd rather sit in siddasana anyhow ;o)

The last time I practiced with MF I think it was late Jan or early Feb, and I can't remeber whether practicign with him came before hot yoga or after (I'm sure if I could be bothered to look through my dates I'd be able to find out.. but I can't be bothered...) anyway, my point is that I didn't find it as challenging as the first time, I thought I was never going to walk again after the first time, this time it was challenging but less, and I think that my hot yoga practice and just trying to get through the heat has given me that edge in my other practice that gets me through without much sweat (excuse the pun..!).

So today I decided to go back to SM and do their Mysore class with a couple of teachers I didn't know.. Turns out one of the guys I recognised from Lino Miele, B, who I remembered as being sooo happy about Lino's tips for dropping back unassisted he just kept doing it!! The other guy P, wasn't so familiar, but it turned out to be a great practice with loads of tips and assists as the class was about 4 people! I actually had the longest practice ever at a fantastic 2 hours 10 minutes!! I loved it! I concentrated on having a longer breath and staying in the postures longer until I felt the benefits, the openings, the stretches. Afterwards a lady came to give a talk on the Yoga Sutras, Kailish Mistry. It was only an introduction to the sutras and sanskrit in general, but it was a good start. We did some chanting too, but unfortunately not the sutras, and I think it may become a regular class, a bit like a book club, but everyone just bringing their ideas to the table about different parts of the sutras.

Unfortunately a lot of what she was saying about the history of yoga didn't sit well with me, particularly since reading Mark Singleton's 'Yoga Body', however, that aside I think a Patanjali book club would be quite useful!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

It's my practice and I'll cry if I want to....

What is wrong with me?!!! Not only have I had an awful 10 days of some kind of stomach flu-ey thing which has stopped me eating and then stopped me from trying to start eating again, has zapped my energy and is making is to damn hard to get back on track... I'm crying in the toilet cubicle at work for "no apparent reason"!!! Aaaargh!!!!! I mean - who does that?! Who goes to work and cries at their desk and then when, realising the little tears are becoming big tears, has to go to the toilet to cry?! Who - tell me goddamn it?!!

I feel exhausted (overall) and at the moment I'm blaming the stomach flu thing, not that I actually know what it is, I've completely self-diagnosed here... Maybe I should go to the doctors, or maybe I should just GET OVER IT!!

I had a meeting with V after my yoga class tonight re my teacher training. Somehow he seems to just *know* when I'm not 100% mentally and I was, admittedly, dreading it because I just knew he'd ask and I knew I'd tell him and I had visions of me breaking down sobbing in front of him, but luckily that didn't happen. Luckily, I found my own awareness and just laughed at myself and my present situation as if I was someone else, which always makes it easier!

My practice was a real retreat tonight though. I have a sneaky suspicion V has turned the thermostat up because the last few weeks the room has been toasty warm and I've had a really nice practice because of it. Sweat = good practice! (For me anyway..) However, I've been trying overly hard to ditch the ego thing recently but after practice T came up to me complimenting my on my 'beautiful' practice saying how far it had obviosuly come on and how beautiful it was to watch (why was he not concentrating on his dristi?!). It took me entirely by surprise but I had to graciously accept his lovely complement and obviously put it down to my "5 days of practice a week"!!

I'm pushing myself to my edge as well which may be helping my practice, I wasn't doing this prior to my weeeknd with Lino, but as he says, take every practice as a different practice and try everything like it was your first time. It might just happen for you. If you don't try you won't ever know. I just wish I could live the rest of my life like I'm living my yoga practice at the moment...

In terms of my practice I'm trying out a tip I read in 'The Daily Bandha' which basically says that for every action there is a reaction, which in simple terms ref yoga asana, if you push down one way you pull up in another. It actually really helps my practice, as I was finding that although i was 'in' a posture, I was never fully 'engaged' in the posture. For instance, instead of precariously balancing like a baby giraffe in standing postures, if I push into the floor then I lift out of the core of the body in the opposite direction. Simple. It felt great trying this out tonight and I would definately suggest signing up for the 'Daily Bandha' to anyone with a serious yoga practice. There - plugged...

Sunday, 6 March 2011

"All is for the best..."

..."In the best of all possible worlds".

D lent me Candide (Voltaire) a while ago and I've just finished it. Bit bizarre to say the least, but brought up some good arguments about optimism and sometimes the absurdity of it, as a way of justifying evil and mishap, and pessimism and loss of hope for the human race.

It got me thinking about how I try to stay optimistic about things but sometimes it can get a bit tiresome and I slip into the pessimistic state, with loss of hope and a good outlook on life. I guess that might be what the book might be trying to achieve, that sometimes even with the best and most optimistic outlook on life, the events which occur can appear quite absurd and how could one possibly remain optimistic in the face of some of the awful trials that face us. However, I think that optimism, pessimism and 'cultivating your garden' (which Candide seems to resign himself to in the end of the book) are cyclical, optimism will lead to pessimism after a while once the trials get to us, pessimism will turn to despair which will lead one a time of quite introspection and 'cultivation' of their own outlook again, which when things start making sense again will lead back to optimism.

Yoga this week consisted of hot yoga on Wednesday, Thursday full primary led and hot yoga again today. I must start writing my blog straight after the class again as I do forget what went well and what did not go so well. Hot yoga went well today, I didn't have to have a 'mini savasana' in the middle like normal even though we had hardcore C teaching. I did some lovely 'dancer' poses and the other standing balances which I normally miss as I'm normally on the floor at this point! I also managed some much better cobras, managed to engage the correct muscles today which lifted my legs higher and weren't such a strain on my lower back, so that was good. Did a two-legged bow and a full camel without hurting my knees. So yeah, it was cool.

Looking forward to my mysore class tomorrow and the new teaching workshop which will go on for an hour before practice. Another hour of yoga per week - yay!