Thursday, July 28, 2005


Practiced this morning at AYS, but didn't get there until 9:10, which meant that I was going to have to avoid any procrastination. I had taken my hot shower earlier, but I didn't do any pre-practice stretching, which worried me a bit. So, when I set down my mat, I got into Supta Baddha Konasana and massaged my hip flexors a bit for less than five minutes and then got to it.

I moved very quickly and smoothly through my practice, although I have to admit I did feel distracted by a couple of things. First, Julie K was near me, and her practice is so breathtakingly gorgeous, it was difficult not to stare. She taught the jump-backs workshop, she studied with Chuck and Maty in California and she is a YogaWorks teacher, so she and MB know each other. I took the jumping-back workshop on Saturday, and it was wonderful. My jumpbacks haven't improved at all...BUT...I know what I need to do, what I need to work on outside of the jumpbacks themselves: I need to make sure that I am letting my psoas muscles do the work when I step forward into Warrior I, instead of cheating my leg to the outside of my shoulder and then back between my hands. I need to be work on my press-ups - a LOT, and not be lazy about them. And, here is the best part, I need to NOT go so low in my Chatturangas (a/k/a catvari in Ashtanga - the "fourth" vinyasa of Surya Namaskar A), instead, keeping my shoulder girdle from collapsing below my hip girdle. Who knew that it would be all about the girdle?

Anyway, Julie K's jumpbacks are enchanting to watch, but they are nothing compared to her Handstands-into-Backbends. I am not sure if she goes the other way as well, from backbend into handstand, which I believe is called "Viparita Chakrasana", but regardless, it was quite a sight to behold. Breathtaking. Inspiring.

Then there was something else - and this is awful, and upsetting, but I am going to just say it: my mind kept drifting to thoughts of: "Who has read this blog and hates me for what I have written?" Now that is NOT good, and it made me question the wisdom of even HAVING a blog at all, which some of you know, I have questioned at other times as well.

I have heard that the risk of keeping a practice blog is that during your practice, your mind will drift off to things like, "Ah, nice adjustment, gotta remember to put that in my blog", etc. But that's not the problem for me. For me the big problem is that by keeping my blog, I believe I am risking offending people, particularly the people who practice alongside me at the shala. And not only is that a bad thing, in and of itself, but it also negatively impacts on my ability to focus during my practice at the shala. Now, I know I could keep my blog private. But I don't like that choice either. Anyway, I'm tired of thinking about this for the moment. Perhaps I will feel better about things (i.e., less paranoid) tomorrow...

Speaking of tomorrow, I was surprised to hear that Guy and Lori are going to be gone for two weeks (again) starting tomorrow. So, a new teacher is coming in. I don't remember his name. But his bio (as posted on the bulletin board at AYS) says that he assisted Eddie at AYNY for a time. I wonder how having yet another teacher will impact my practice. Will he let me keep doing what I am doing? Will he help me with Mari C and D? And if so, how? Will he help me to twist, or will he focus on the bind?

To all those in favor of NOT working with different teachers - what does one do when one's teacher goes out of town...seemingly regularly?

For me, for now, I will have to see how it goes. I have only two weeks left to practice before my surgery, and then I will have to take a break for anywhere from two to six weeks, depending on how my recovery goes. I've decided that if I like this temporary teacher, then great, but if not, I am just going to spend as much time as I can with Sarah instead (time constraints/teaching schedule permitting). I really love my practice when I am with her - isn't that funny, given that I am not even doing the poses I love best - Buja through Supta Kurmasana?! I know I can always do them anyway in led classes and at home, and I know they will be there for me when she thinks I am ready for them. Guy says he thinks they are good for me now despite my continuing struggles with Mari D (Mari C is almost no longer a problem - I even enjoy it! I even look forward to it!) because of the way Kurmasana and Supta Kurmasana open up the chest. So, obviously reasonable minds CAN differ...

About Buja, Kurmasana and Supta K, all I can say about them today is: JOY! Floaty, seemingly magical joy....



Beryl said...


When I started practicing I could have really learned alot from a blog like this. Please keep sharing your experiences.

This practice is magical. Lets keep sharing it:)

Oh--and no one hates you. Hate--what a scary and powerful word. How could anyone hate you from your blog? You are a yoga teacher that truly cares about her students and is willing to be humbled by learning something new. A mom, a cancer survivor and someone who quit the lucrative rat race to have a real life.

Brava to you. Brava.

yoga chickie said...

Thank you, Beryl...that is so nice of you to say...we all have our paranoid moments, right? I agree with you about the importance of writing about the Ashtanga practice...I learn so much from the blogs I read! I even get little practice tips from time to time...Namaste, Lauren

Anonymous said...

YEAH!keep it coming, lauren, i have just one comment: do you think its really necesary to do pre-practice stretches? i have always undrstood that suryanamaskara a & b were also meant to prepare you for the practice, some might call it a warm up. i know, if/when you go to mysore, you will have to start your practice right away, no pre stretching! anyway, again, keep writing, its very inspiring.
greetings, ivdp

Anonymous said...

In led classes I often notice that people like to stretch before getting started. In the shala perhaps that's fine. But to intentionally stretch as a warm-up before ashtanga seems to run contrary to the philosophy of this practice. The sequence is highly structured to ensure that we're properly warmed up. It might interesting to try letting let go of your warm-ups for a while. For me, I used to warm-up because I wanted to be at my best. But that implies competition and an attachment to what other people are doing. Anyway, please do keep blogging. I am most grateful for all you share.

Anonymous said...

I wrote that last comment. On second thought, do what you feel you need to do. Warmup asanas and all. Why not? :o)

yoga chickie said...

Great comments...addressed them in a new post....cheers...Lauren

Anonymous said...

Yes Lauren, I think I told you this in an e-mail too. Please don't stopped writing this blog, I've learned so much from in a little over a week about Yoga, which is the point. Thanks for your wonderfull posts.


yoga chickie said...

Hey Beth...are you practicing? Please please were doing so so nicely in our class...I really would love to see you continuing that learning...if you want to take another Intro Workshop that would be absolutely fine, and I would be absolutely delighte to have you in mine. I will be starting up again in September. Just ask the front desk - they are keeping a list of people who want to sign up as soon as it opens....:) Lauren

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About Me

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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