Practice today was a real beauty.
After ‘vinyasa’ class on Friday, followed up by a sneaky led second series class on Saturday, I was seriously in need of Saturday’s regenerative rest.
I’d been back into a daily practice for a few weeks before I got to Mysore (2 weeks ago), and have been feeling pretty strong on the whole, so I worked hard on Thursday, and did a good job of staying focused while trying not to go too far with some of the back-bending exercises on Saturday.
I’d started to do some second series work the last time I was here, and for some bizarre reason had got it into my head that it was going to be reasonably easy. I mean, breath and bandhas are understood, right, so it’s got to be easier than at the very beginning…surely?
Well, from an ‘understanding’ point of view, maybe so, but physically it can put the hammer down on me in a way I’ve not experienced since starting to try and do full primary.
I’ve learned I need to be careful with my backbends, as I’ve a tendency to overstretch my lower back, and Ajay has given me some stuff to work on to strengthen my legs, open my shoulders and stretch into my upper back.
Some of the unfamiliar postures (Bharadvajasana & Ardha Matsyendrasana in particular), really got deep into my hips in a new direction, and today, having had a day to process what’d been done to them, my hip and shoulder joints were full of that deep, intense, burning pain that opening brings. Even when motionless, the whisper of sensation was there, an ever present reminder of feelings the next movement would bring.
The mental rehearsal of Parsvottanasana causing muscles to contract, trying to protect the joints from the impending daggers.
No use. Here comes the pain.
But good pain, appreciating and accepting the current limit.
Shoulders, arms and legs felt raw, so it was slow, deliberate, semi-crawling through to sitting or chaturanga. This gave me plenty of time between asanas to consider jacking all this in and going for a chai! I mean yeah, you can make the ‘opening’ process sound all flowery and lovely, but then there is also the somewhat less palatable truth of the pain (or as some people prefer to call it PAIN!).
It was an abbreviated practice (no janu sirsasana b,c, marichasana b,d etc), but I’ve not had such an amplified focus for quite some time, and it was great being forced to sit sooo far away from where I’d normally be in postures, and appreciate the sensations.
So, if I’m happy to be looking like I’m going backwards on the outside, because I can feel that I’m going forwards on the inside, shouldn’t I also be just as happy on the days when I not only look ,but feel, like I’ve gone backwards, strapped to a rocket? The days where I feel like I’d like to meet Mr Yoga down a dark ally with a baseball bat?
Of course, and me being able to see that shows just what powerful juju this yoga stuff is :o)
Enjoy your Sunday dudes.