Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Gone skiing

Today was my last practice at Shala X before flying off to The Canyons in Park City, Utah for the annual family ski vacay. Happily, I got there bright and early, right after the invocation. As always, I used Surya A and B as a place to really surfed my breath. And since I had some extra time, I was able to mine the depths of the "Twisted Sisters": Parivritta Parsvakonasana, Ardha Badha Padma Paschimo, Mari C and Mari D. Oh yeah, and I also worked it in Prasarita Pado C, waiting patiently for Sir to come over and press the hands to the floor. When will they stop popping back up after he lets go, I wonder?

Mari D was brilliant today, even Sir told me it was good. I knew that would be the case after my chiropractic appointment. Big shout out to Dr. Jamie Blau. She rocks.

After practice, I knocked on Sir's door to ask him a coupla things. First, what to do about my yoga practice while I am in Utah.

"Skiing is very demanding," I explained, "So then what do I do about practicing yoga?"

"What you need to do," he began, "is skip the skiing."

I laughed. But I got the point. It is important to keep the practice up. So, here is what he prescribed. As best I can, I should really be doing my full practice (it should really help my skiing anyway, and not just because of the physical, in fact, more for the benefits to the mind and the breath). But if all I have is 15 minutes, then Sun A, Sun B and the Final Three Seated Poses. If I have more time than that, add the shoulder stand sequence. If I have more time than that, add the standing sequence. If I have more time than that, add the Primary Series up to Navasana. No skipping though within those sequences.

We talked briefly about my new resolve to hold Parv Parsvakona for extended periods of time. He said he really likes that pose as well. Did I say I like it? Ha. But I guess in my own way, I must.

I also asked about the speed of my practice. I noted that lately I have seen people come in after me and finish before me. "Have I started to move TOO slowly?" I asked.

"No, you're fine," he told me.

Now those are some of the best words I think I have ever heard at Shala X!

Finally, the question on the minds of many a yogi and yogini here in NYC (well, maybe on the minds of one know who I am talking about, friend...): What the hell is going to happen at our shala during the World Tour in March?

Answer: Sir is still going to be teaching! YEA!!! He said he will probably join in the early led class with Guruji and then teach at the second session at Shala X. He suggested that I make my appearance at the Puck, not because of the value to my practice so much, but because of the sangha aspect. And the fun. And then he kind of reversed himself - he noted that practicing in that environment might give me a chance to go deeper in some poses that I might otherwise breeze through in my self-practice, or find things to enjoy about poses that I don't particularly like.

(Yeah, I thought, like Savasana...I am NOT a very good savasan-er, not that that is probably news to anyone reading this. And for the non-yogis reading this, Savasana is Corpse Pose. And it is supposedly VERY important as a way of pulling together all of the benefits of the practice that came before it and of quieting the nervous system before moving on with the rest of the day. But the thing is - I hate it. I hate lying there. I don't mind seated meditation - I quite enjoy it actually....and yet I really don't like Corpse Pose. I guess in my mind, it's kind of like when people say, "I'll sleep when I'm dead." In my case, I'll play dead when I'm dead. Or when I have a few more years of yoga under my belt perhaps).

Sir jokingly (I think) told me that Guruji knows who each of his teachers' students are, so to be on my best behavior! Ha. In that case, I asked Sir if during the led primary, I should stop at Navasana and wait for the finishing poses. He said that in the case of the World Tour, it would be nice to experience the whole Primary practice and to just go for it. If there were a problem, I would get "tapped" by Sharath anyway.

I had no idea they were doing that in Primary! Last year they did it to people in Second Series. This year, there IS no Second Series. And the AYRI site instructs us to stop at the pose we cannot do. So....maybe they are stricting-up.

My, I am on a babble roll today.

FYI, that photo is of me three winters ago in Breckenridge, Colorado. I look HUGE, but I thought it was a nice action photo, so I let go of the vanity and posted it anyway. SUCH a fun mountain for families, with their awesome ski school and their skiing muppets and their mini-tree-ski trails with haunted ski shacks and ski-pirates and such. But toooooooooooooooo cold. And the altitude was tooooooooooooooooo high. Crazy high. One margarita at dinner the first night, and I was up every single hour drinking water. We're not quite as high above sea level in Utah, and besides, a cocktail in Utah is its own unique variation on what we New Yorkers think of as cocktails. It smells like a cocktail. It tastes like a cocktail. But in truth, it's a mere essence of cocktail. Drinking laws and all. It's an interesting place, Utah is.

I am bringing my laptop with me to photoblog while I am away. And to keep me honest about my practice, perhaps?




ciodude said...

Hmmm corpse pose? Next to the rock pose, thats sounds like something I could do. :)

Enjoy the vacay!

yoga chickie said...

I don't even know what the rock is...what is it?

Anonymous said...

well if it is anything like the lead classes in Mysore...the rest at the end is okay, "Lie Down" and then 5 seconds later.."okay take rest at home"....

Have fun with the crew in NYC and happy vacay...cheers SMN

yoga chickie said...

Sounds like my kind of savasana! The only time I can ever stay in "the pose" is in a led class: enforced corpse pose.

Thanks for the well wishes!


ciodude said...

Rock pose is what us not so flexible, non yogi's do. We sit, or lay on the floor, or the grass, or chair or sofa or bed, hands and feet limp, um, like a rock.

Sometimes its confused with sleeping or other vegetative states.


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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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