Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Week ending 10/27

Sunday (led class at the shala)
Such a wonderful feeling to be in a class full of other prana :)
This was also a teacher training class so there was lots of adjusting going on!
A former student of mine came with me to class too...I love sharing the shala :)

Monday (ladies' holiday)
Tuesday (ladies' holiday)

Wednesday (home)
practiced in the afternoon, felt nice to get back on my mat after 2 days off

Thursday (shala)
so nice to be back in the shala
Mari series worked up a lot of emotion today, flooding of feelings/memories from distant and not so distant past. That didn't feel good :( The twist in Mari C felt light and lifted during adjustment, but the release literally made me feel queasy for a minute or two. Spent the rest of the day slightly agitated.

Friday (home)
short practice through standing series
so many other things on my mind
I'm in a state of "have to do" so on one hand I'm frustrated with the length of my practice, the other hand is patting me on the back for pulling my mat out in the first place.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

DaDaDadaDadaDaDa AGRO

If you are patient in a moment of anger, you will escape one hundred days of sorrow. ~Chinese Proverb

I've never seen Madagascar 3, but the silly AfroCircus song is in my head with one slight modification....
As in aggravated!

Today I am most definitely on edge, annoyed, aggravated, irritable, bothered, buggered, rankled, disturbed, perturbed and awnry.

I think my psoas is storing sordid sour suggestions that are being squeezed out during my practice.
I particularly notice said squeezing during the Marichyasanas; my body feels as though I'm releasing such disgusting emotional stuff that I'm actually queasy afterwards. It starts a bit earlier with the Janu series, when the psoas gets a good wringing out, that just paves the way for anger, fear and nausea once I make it through my second side of Mari B. Today I stuck with Mari C for 7 repetitions and got an adjustment on my last round. Krista picked me up and made me feel light and tall in my upper body, making it easier to twist around my spine. It also made it easier for that uck to climb right up into my heart. I unwound and literally felt dizzy and thought I might be sick. I could SENSE the sour ooze seeping out.

And seep it did
I slimed a neighbor in traffic
I mentally slimed someone at the office
I even slimed myself

I recognized all of this, as it was happening, and for that I am thankful.
For a moment I wanted it to go away, and then I remembered that is exactly what is happening, in a refiner's fire sort of way. I've turned up the heat and the uglies are bubbling to the top.
THIS is why things I haven't thought of in months or even years are sitting right behind my eyes!
Thankfully, they're on their way out
For now I'll just picture myself a clown-wig-wearing zebra and sit with my AgroCircus, my aching hips, and breathe.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Week ending 10/20/12

Monday (moon day)

Tuesday (shala)
Stomach issues stopped my practice short
Practiced through  Parshvottanasana
Spent the rest of the day home close to the bathroom :(

Wednesday (no practice)
My practice time was traded in for a trip to the doctor
Referred to a gasteroenterologist, maybe a new development in my intolerance
Maybe it's just routine while you pass the sun for the 40th time :)

Thursday (shala)
Practice was a treat this morning
Just the right amount of stretch and work
But I made it through closing sequence and remembered I was supposed to start working on Sirsasana
Good thing there is always tomorrow :)

Friday (home)
so distracted during today's practice
I'm glad I took practice today though...distraction less irksome once I was finished

Friday, October 19, 2012

My practice makes me practice focusing on my practice.

This morning I decided to climb back in bed and cuddle with the hub. It's not often we get a morning to do that as I'm usually up and out to the Shala early then off to work but today there was no "off to work" part afterwards so my brain ran through all the other options to take practice and decided under the covers was a good place to be. And it was, snuggling on a cool, fall morning can be just as restorative as time on my mat.

This afternoon my mini me had plans to shop for a Halloween costume with a friend which left me with 3 hours alone in the house a.k.a living room = yoga shala.

I did well keeping my mind clear most of the morning and just enjoying the time at home.
My monkey brain was the size of MoJo JoJo!
Then something struck me as rude, right before I transformed the living room, and try as I might each time I inhaled through my Surya Namaskaras, my mind wandered to that rudeness.

I like my get-up-at-4:20am-to-the-mat-by-5:15am routine. There's not much time to let any other thoughts in. Get up, get clean, get dressed, pour coffee. Drive, park, scan my key fob, roll out mat, practice. Admittedly, it is easier to keep my mind on my practice in a room full of ujjayi but the lack of intellectual stimuli that early in the morning has to be a factor.

Inhale - ugh is it just me or was that rude
Exhale - where is your drishti
Inhale - oh yeah right, drishti
Exhale - no it's not just you, if you did a facebook poll people would agree with you
Inhale - I would never put anything like that on facebook
Exhale - you're not on facebook, you're on your mat
Inhale - right mula bandha

and so it went for another 20 or so minutes

Inhale - heh, maybe this situation happened so I'd have to force myself to practice clearing my mind
Exhale - how's that working out for ya?
Inhale - I can't hear you, I'm focusing on my practice

Somewhere after my standing series I settled into the zone
Purvottanasana was amazing
Urdhva Dhanurasana felt really strong too

Practice is over now, and while I remember what it was that irked me
I'm no longer irked

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Week ending Oct 13

Monday 10/8 (home practice)
practiced through ardha baddha padma paschimottanasana, closing series
going up in urdhva dhanurasana felt great, staying there not so much
rolled out of halasana
could not lift in utpluthih, arms were jelly
oil bath residual?

Tuesday 10/9 (shala)
Smooth transitions from Chaturanga to Urdhva Mukha Svanasana several without resting my legs. When I was able to do this, I felt more supported in my upper body and hands felt more grounded. Worked on recreating that grounded feeling whether or not my legs rested during transition
Marichyasana C adjustment today was the most 'ease' I have ever felt in that positon. Working on opposition of forces in my legs, internally rotating thigh while pushing the foot outwards.
Entire closing series felt strong
LIFTED in utpluthih, jelly arms are gone :)

Wednesday, 10/10 (shala)
I really took my time in practice this morning. I was up and out of the house earlier which put me at the shala earlier...leaving me a sense of no need to be rushed, so nice.
During Surya Namaskaras, I focused deeply on one breath/one movement and drishti. At onte point, I felt like it took me forever to get through all 10 and for a second or two concerned myself with it, but only a second or two :)
Did an additional series of Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana, working to drop my knee and reach my toe.
Virabhadrasana II felt exceptionally strong today. I didn't adjust my feet when moving from I to II and felt very grounded and could feel the "work" happening.
Focusing on the internal rotation of my thigh of the straight leg in forward folds as given me a new found groundedness through the hip helpful in all the forward folding postures.
Working on lotus in closing series

Thursday, 10/11 (shala)
practiced on only my sticky mat today, no rug what a difference in urdhva dhanurasana
sticking with the repetitions of Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana and Marichyasana B
thought a lot about drishti today, especially in  Urdhva Mukha Svanasana shifting my gaze from the nose to the third eye just sorta happened so I went with it :)
Again, urdhva dhanurasana felt fantastic today, no slipping of the hands and no tension in my back

Friday, 10/12 (no practice)

Saturday, 10/13 (shala)
Today is Yoga-versary! The Shala is 3 years old and we celebrated with led primary series class with Krista.
Yes, my inner T-Rex is still working on Marichyasana C
The droplets of sweat that danced on my mat were beautiful and I felt as thought I practiced with a smile through my entire series. The unison breath of 30+ people all taking practice together was so energizing and I even started Sirsasana, Krista says we'll make that our focus this week :) The most amazing part was the awareness I had over the muscle groups in my back as she talked me into my prep pose: "engage your lats," and I felt them engage," lengthen your traps towards your waist," and I FELT them do that as she said "yes, just like that." My practice has definitely brought a heightened sense of awareness to the way that I move and why.

Looking forward to my oil-bath day.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I lost count...

One, Two, Three Surya Namaskara, ah ah ah!
Opening Mantra
Settling Breath
Surya Namaskara A 5x
Surya Namaskara B 3x or was that 4?
In the end, 3 won because if it WAS 4, I wasn't paying attention so it didn't count anyway.

This mini-debate over counts reminded me of this post from my recovery blog. While looking for the post, I skimmed over several months worth of writing, there's some good stuff there and BOY, am I a long way from where I was then.  At that point in time, I was so fed up with counting I never wanted to do it again. Come to think of it, I was struggling with present moment awareness then as I ducked and dodged Joan at every turn so it's not a stretch to understand why counting (aka being present) was such a bother for me.

I'm not sure how long the counting dialogue took place in my head. Long enough for me to picture Count von Count and come to the conclusion that one more Surya Namaskara wasn't going to hurt anyway so I may have done 6 but I was only aware of 5 and in the end it brought me back to my practice and kept me focused which is the point, isn't it?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Oil-bath day

Several times over the past week, in several different scenarios with different people from different walks of life (getting the point here?)...the practice of oil-baths came up. The final mention was with my chiropractor who is still helping me calm down my sciatic nerve (which, by the way, is doing swimmingly and I only took one day off from practice because of it).

So I've read blogs
I've watched videos
I've spoken with a teacher at my shala
and today is oil-bath day.

I took care to purchase organic, odorless castor oil, added a few drops of my favorite essential oil, pulled out a mat and some towels to donate to the process and gave myself alone time while the hub and the mini me are working on a school project.

I started by warming my oil in a sink full of warm water as I spread my mat out in the bathroom and got ready. With intention on the crown of my head, I poured the warm oil onto my scalp then massaged it all over my head. It was a bit thicker than I expected so next time I may warm the oil longer.
My timer was set for 5 minutes and as I waited with the oil on my head, I took a body brush to my body giving extra time to areas where I am sore. The timer sang and it was time to apply the oil to the rest of my body. I had a bit of trouble reaching all parts of my back but within just a few minutes I was covered and my timer was set for an additional 10 minutes. By this time, I felt my scalp begin to get warmer and I noticed some warmth in my body as well. I rested in savasana on my mat and simply focused on my breath.

Once again the timer sang and it was time for my shower. I set the water as hot as I could and proceeded to rinse, giving an extra massage to my shoulders and my right hip. I followed up with a citrus castille soap which did the job of washing the oil from my body and hair quite nicely.

I'm now resting in comfortable clothes and all but melting into the couch.
My fears of oily residue were quelled and whether it was the oil bath, or the time spent in the hot shower that has me feeling so relaxed really doesn't is a ritual I can see adding to my week with no problem and actually one I will indeed look forward to.

Om Shanti.

Week Ending 10/6

Monday: 10/1(practice)

Tuesday: 10 /2 (shala)
Shanna is back from Mysore!
I've been working on Marichyasana C since late spring, early summer. It's become easier to deal with since I gave up my desire to bind (funny how things work that way) Shanna put me in a new position this morning, placing my left hand under my right foot as I twist to the right (and vice versa on the opposite side). This constricted my breathing a bit again as it deepened my twist.
All is coming

Wednesday: 10/3 (shala)
totally forgot my balancing poses!
Didn't realize it until I was into my seated postures
Am I supposed to go back?
Marichyasana C with the new foot hold definitely sends an ache into my hip flexors. I mentioned this to Shanna and she clapped and said "goody"
okay, at least it's not a "bad" ache :)

Thursday: 10/4 (home practice)
video taped this practice
Mark this day in history as a day I saw my body and liked what I saw :)

Friday: 10/5 (shala)
Not in a hurry today, no place to be after practice so I wasn't worried about time
Talked to Shanna about missing my balancing postures on Wednesday, not to worry, it happens, it won't be a habit.
Marichyasana C 2nd side, my fingers touched (with help)!
Woo :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Practice with my pup

I took practice at home today and Snoopy, our dog (who also happens to be deaf) was right there along side of me rooting me on.
I decided to let the video camera roll to capture where I am so far in my practice and watching the playback did a few nice things for me.
I gained a real appreciation for my body. I personally hold an image in my head that is much less capable and pleasing to me than the one I see pictured here.
I gained an appreciation for my breath during my practice. There is music playing throughout the video but I can still hear the steady beat of my breath in the back ground.
And finally, I can see where I still have yet to go, but more importantly I can see how far I've come :)

Om Shanti

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

One track mind

Several months ago I wandered into the Shala while there was a weekend lecture in progress. While browsing the boutique offerings, I overheard Krista speak on the importance of commiting to one practice.
One style, one place. I didn't hover long as I wasn't a paid participant in the lecture, and I'm paraphrasing here but the basic premise I took away that day says practice one style, so you can allow the style to work on/for you and practice in one place because your teachers know you, what you can and cannot do, what you can do that you think you cannot, and how to help you move forward in your practice and when.

I'm not quite sure how I felt about that idea as I drove away but flash forward 6 months and I find myself in that exact spot, one style, one place. This is the first week of my practice where I am no longer teaching and by default only practicing in one place.

I'm not sure what to expect...but I thought it good to make a note so I could track any observations.

Interesting, while proofreading my post, I noticed several variations of the phrase "I'm not sure," to which my brain immediately answered, "do your practice, all is coming"