Well, I’ve been practicing regularly but not blogging regularly. Today’s practice was intense and concentrated, and I again broke a sweat, yay! Been practicing up to Supta K. Almost got a bind on the right side in Mari D today, what a surprise that was….not even close on the left side, but more open than usual. I remember David Williams saying something about going to the same depth on both sides to keep symmetry even if you can go farther into a pose on one side, i.e. only go as far as your stiff side permits on both sides. I can tell some opening is happening in the shoulder girdle and hips. Lots of strengthening happening in the core too. Feels good, but I’m kind of sore from 3 pretty intense practices in a row. Hoping to wrap up NaYoPracmo with another concentrated and hot practice.
Archive for the ‘Ashtanga’ Category
Its being very hard to get on the mat lately, let alone do a full on practice. The shoulder is still bothering me and its been quite aggravating to me to have to feel so ‘careful’ when practicing as not to tweak it out. I’ve got to say though that practice actually makes it feel better and alleviates much if not all of the pain. Strange as vinyasas caused the pain in the first place. I feel like I need to direct more attention and more discipline to the practice again. I’ve definitely plateaued.
I tried to squeeze in a practice this morning before my client and it consisted of a disappointing few sun salutations, twists and a couple of seated postures. Better than nothing I suppose. In order to practice the way I want to…I need, NEED to be getting up at 5:30am. That’s been the real challenge lately. With the winter deep freeze on its been difficult, and also the yoga room is not warming up very well in our poorly insulated apartment.
Excuses, excuses….I get tired of hearing my self type them.
Maybe its time to start going to the Shala again….
I need to commit not only to the practice, but to the routine and the potential sacrifices that go with having that regular morning practice. Not zoning in front of the TV at night, or in front of the internet, vigilance about meals (at least the evening one). Actually seems to come down to a matter of self-care, which has been flagging lately as well. Work has been hectic and super busy and that has been occupying much of the concentration and energy that used to be channeled into my own self-care and my practice. I’ve come to that place again where I need to make decisions and have boundaries that don’t sacrifice my own needs and well being to produce like a little worker bee. I KNOW that I am more productive at work when I am taking care of myself.
Another stiffy practice. Was able to get up this morning and get to the mat, which I hope will be a sign of future morning practices to come. There is an interesting Meme started by Tim on his site and if I have time later, or in the next few days I will post my story.
Practiced up to Supta Kurmasana today. I think I may hang out there for awhile until I can do a passable version of it. Off to work!
Late afternoon practice. The shoulder pain seems to now be primarily from stiffness. Initially it feels stiff and painful, then by the end of the Surya Namaskars, the pain is virtually gone. Paid special attention to vinyasas, as the shoulder can get tweaked there. Have really put alot of awareness in Uddiyana and Mula bandha. Very consciously and strongly engaging the locks takes much of the strain off of the shoulders. All in all felt fairly strong and flexible today. Stil a bit on the stiff side. Got up to Upavistha Konasana, and went to finishing series and ended. Been wobbly and wonky in Karna Pindasana, Urdvha Padmasana, and Pindasana. Had a very hard time staying in these due to stiffness in lower back and upper back. Backbends were somewhat deep today, but felt quite painful until the end when my back seemed to open. Going to consistently work with 4-5 per practice. 3 just isn’t enough.
That’s it for today. Got Ashtanga NY from Netflix looking forward to viewing that tonight, though I’m sure my partner will be very bored. She doesn’t know its part of attempt to secretly indoctrinate her into the practice of Ashtanga.
Hope everyone had a great practice today!
Being an Ashtangi i took today off from my regular asana practice. However, I did do a sitting meditation practice, chanted Bija sounds to stimulate and balance the chakras, and worked for about 10-15 minutes on passive shoulder stretches. This will constitute practice #3 for me.
The left shoulder was feeling quite painful today. I’ve been stretching it on and off all day, and switched sides with the mouse. This all seems to have helped. I have little or no pain in the deltoid. I took it easy with the shoulder stretches, and the shoulder seems to be responding well to a day of rest today.
Today’s practice started out stiff and painful, ended up fairly limber. Was able to work with the trick knee, with very little uncomfortable sensation and no pain at all during the practice. I just took an attitude of gentleness and nurturance towards my body, in particular that left knee. During the Prasarita Padottanasana series I experienced a wave or flow of energy and sensation that went through the soft tissues just below my left knee and traveled up to the hip, simultaeneously i felt the same flow up the back of the leg and through the sciatic nerver area. I felt fear which I let go of pretty quickly, then the sense of a deep unwinding in that area. What ever it is that let go in my body seems to have been connected to the pain in that knee. I noticed a lot more space around that joint after that, allowing for movement without pain.
I’ve been experimenting alot with dropping my head, still lifting and straightening the back, but letting the head drop…particularly in forward bends. I feel an intense tingling and release in the area where the hamstring attachments are. In some ways I feel like I’ve reached a dead en d in forward bending, but this action seems to be releasing the areas I need to go even deeper. It is also helping with the tension and tenderness I am feeling in the left side of my neck, where I had a whiplash injury many years ago. Consciously releasing any tension in my face and jaw also helps that area to relax.
All in all it was a satisfying practice, despite the fact that I may now be considered a yoga ‘criminal’ for practicing on a rest day. I attempting lifting on all jumpbacks and had some good progress with this, until later in the series after Navasana where my muscles became quite fatigued. My main obstacle with the jump thrus and jump backs is the inability to tightly curl myself into a ball. I think this may be due to both a tightness in the hamtrings and the psoas. I will just keep trying, ever day seems to bring a little bit more progress.
I feel as if events conspired against me today, in terms of having a practice, however…I must take responsibility for my own decisions that lead to an asana practice or lack thereof. At any rate, we got hit by the second part of ‘The Blizzard of 2006.’ Not quite as nasty as the first part, but still enough to close some things down here in the Front Range, and my honey got the day off work. This made for some nice warm morning cuddling, not the usual get out of bed at 5am and practice while she is getting ready for work.
As I work at home, external weather doesn’t affect me much. I guess this is one of the drawbacks, that I will never get a snow day, but I also am self-employed and only get paid if I am working, so not such a bad thing. I had a leisurely breakfast, and coffee, froliced in the snow, did a little shopping, messed around with photoshop…which I am attempting to learn, got some urgent work things done, spent some time with the honey, and suddenly too late to practice and food in the stomach. Maybe I will fit in a before bedtime practice, but not looking too likely as a bottle of red wine was just uncorked.
I may practice tomorrow. Saturdays and moon days are usually days off, but as I only made it to the mat 4 times this week I may do a Sat. practice. It will probably do the tweaked knee some good to rest today anyway.
Stay warm wherever you are.
So today i started up with me routine, once again of waking early in the morning to practice asana. I arose at 6:30am, later than I had intended, but nevertheless was up and onto my mat around 7:00am. I did a few things, evacuated the bowels, read a bit etc. Practice was nothing unusual, but a bit rushed at the end. I got very spacey today, lost rhythm, flow, focus etc. quite often. I was still quite stiff, though more like my ‘normal’ morning stiffness rather than the unusual stiffness of yesterday. I had a 9am meeting, and needed time to prepare so I ended with Uptavishta Konasana and finishing. My knee is rather tweaked and i think it is from the the recent deepen of Garbha Pindasana and Kukkutasana. My particularly enthusiastic pushing of my left arm through my lotus legs seems to be the culprit. Not sure if I will back off from this completely, or just try to take a gentler approach. I suspect that as my hips open some more this will no longer be a problem. The arms will be easier to get through. We’ll see what tomorrow’s practice is like and gauge it from there.
I had no pain at all in knee Mari D, and in that posture the closing of the knee joint seems to aggravate the sore spot which is just below the knee cap and to the right (inside of my left leg knee.) I am praying this isn’t anything serious. I will be careful. I’ve also been icing and taking ibuprofen. The knee feels fine today after practice as I didn’t force myself into anythign that caused unpleasant sensation there. My ego is having a hard time letting go of Kukkutasana, but the modified version wil have to do for now. I will also do some hip openers at night as an adjunct to practice. I’ve been continuing with shoulder stretches at night, which initially made a huge differene in practice. However lately, my shoulders have still been quite stiff despite the extra nighttime stretching.
Everything changes all the time. Impermanence: the great leveler.
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Did my regular practice, couldn’t quite muster up the energy to do all of Primary, but did what I could. Highlight: nice kukkutasana. Nothing else to report.
Another somewhat stiff practice. overall felt quite strong, just set back a bit in the area of flexibility. My sugar intake has gone up lately, so perhaps that has something to do with it. My knees have been a little achey lately and the shoulders noticeably tighter when I don’t do my extra nighttime shoulder stretches. I think I might add in some hip openers too. The chocolate chip cookies are almost gone, so I will most likely be cutting down a bit on the sugar…but I’m sure the holidays will be an absolute dairy fest, as well as more achohol than usual….which is virtually none. Got the last bit of shopping done today. I recieved a very generous gift certificate to Vickerey
That will keep me in yoga shorts. As I’ve lost some weight I’ve been opting for some smaller size shorts. Want to try Verve’s Hanuman as they look like the right combo of not skin tight, but not too loose. My old standy are the Prana s shorts. Anyway, enough of my consumerism…the holidays are a time to practice generosity.
I’ve manifested nice gifts for the family this year…it seemed like a luxury as I finally have an income after 3 years of grad student poverty. I am very grateful now for my life situation. With someone who I love and feel at home with, working in a field that fulfills me at a deep level, having satisfying relationships with my family of origin, and a deeply supportive community. What else could I ask for?
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