Shala was packed today. Barely a place to park. What’s the dealio? New faces (at least to me), though I don’t think there were beginners (i.e., New Years resolutioners). Or maybe it was experienced Ashtangis who decided to turn over a new leaf and practice at the shala? Either way.

Volleyball Guy was super busy with adjustments and with photographs. One of the occasionally-visiting folks (referred to in the past as a moaner, but she seems to have cut back since last she joined us) does third series. Ah, durvasana. What a beautiful pose. I can’t stand it. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before, but durvasana is a pose I’ve always done in my dreams, even before I started practicing yoga or knew that it was an asana.

Practice this morning was good. I had a thought as I was driving to the shala: I didn’t feel so great last night; I wonder if I have energy to do this. I started thinking about the series and how long it is, and then I just put the whole train of thought down. In the end, this may be the biggest sign of “progress” in my practice. I can put thoughts down. I just have to remember not to put everything down during meetings at work, when I get bored or irritated. But you know, lately it’s seemed like a good idea to knock off all the over-thinking, all the stressing, all the fussing over stuff that’s entirely unnecessary. Haha! I start to scare myself. On the way to work, I thought: Practice is the most important thing I do each day. Practice and my relationship with The Cop and My Gift. How easy would it be to put everything else down?

I have my scribbled post-practice note:

    Prasaritas — toes
    Emptiness on UHP
    Kurmasana/Supta k
    Baddha konasana — yikes

Volleyball Guy adjusted me in prasarita A today, which is, I think, a first. He’s a prasarita C kind of guy. Anyhow, the adjustment reminded me that I’ve been playing with the weight in my feet, and that that’s probably a good line of questioning for the prasaritas. I’ve got the uddiyana bandha thing going on for my spine (or, as Richard Freeman would say, “the cave of the sacrum”), and the quad flexing for a deeper fold, but I’ve been wondering about shifting my weight forward more on my feet. Almost that weightless thing you get just before your feet rise off the floor in headstand. Volleyball Guy’s adjustment this morning suggested that I’m on a track that might lead to some discoveries.

Utthita hasta padangusthasana. It only works when your mind is empty. It may be that my body sometimes aligns in a particular way that I’m not quite conscious of, but all I know for sure is that the pose is strong when I have no thoughts. As soon as I think or my eyes wander, the pose is doomed. It is absolutely the pose where I most feel/hear the emptiness of my mind. I also occasionally remind myself that I tore the fascia in my left arch years ago — and every time I remember that, the pose goes to hell. Mind/body connection at its most accessible.

Kurmasana is, joyfully, my friend again. Pulling my heels up is a pleasure. All the fear is gone. If I wasn’t afraid of jinxing myself, I’d say my hamstrings seem to be healed…

Supta kurmasana. I’m still leery and have been trying to balance my effort/ease ratio. Or, in other words, lately I’ve been slacking. Once I got the hand bind regularly, I decided to back off and let that be my only criterion for success. Surely if I just keep at it, more space will open up in the pose. Used to be that I could walk my feet together and just touch my toes. Now I can go sole to sole. There’s probably going to have to be a concerted effort to really focus on getting the ankles crossed. Not sure if it’s time yet to push on that. It wasn’t too long ago that this pose made my heart race and my shoulders ache.

Baddha konasana — totally dependent on my mood. Sometimes I really want to push like crazy, and sometimes it just seems like too much effort. Today I used a single sandbag and put my head right down to the floor. Saw, duh!, the relationship between marichyasana C and baddha konasana. I think of it as the weird chicken wing rotation of my legs. Good thing I don’t actually try to teach students. Goodness knows how I could explain the chicken wing thing 😉

UFC fight tomorrow night. Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz. God, it feels unyogic to love ultimate fighting. I need to probably make a point to smoke and drink and eat pork rinds while I watch, just to get a full dose of badness. Um, I mean, bad-ass-ness. It’s a thin line.


2 Responses

  1. 🙂 We’ll be watching the fight as well. Chuck is a friend of my husband’s. He seems to be doing well… I just saw him last week after sushi climbing into his silver Ferrari. I didn’t think he’d fit! UFC does seem a bit unyogic, I agree. So I’ll be a completely “bad lady” and drink lots of beer and eat lots of junk food.

    Tito bugs me. He’s like an annoying little gnat. I hope Chuck drops him in the second round again.

    Thank you for your comments this morning, by the way. I think you’re exactly right.

  2. I feel kind of torn. I really grew to like Tito when he coached Ultimate Fighter. Chuck certainly has the brute force thing going for him. Tito, on the other hand, seems to really be pushing the envelope, conditioning-wise. Ought to be a great fight!

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