Thursday, March 16, 2006

When Mari met Johnny

I read in Glamour last night as I was trying (an act of futility) to fall asleep (didn't pass out until sometime past 3 was a sleep disaster of yogic proportions) that women have an average of something like three "down days" per month. It's to be expected, and it's no big deal (it only becomes a big deal if it lasts like two weeks or something like that...I apologize for the impreciseness here; I was purposely trying to zone out). Today was definitely one of those days. A down day for Yoga Chickie.

First of all, I woke up exhausted, after having racked up less than four hours of sleep, and fitfull ones at that. Second of all...well, nothing. It was just one of those down days. The sun was shining brightly. The air felt early spring-like. I saw buds on the trees. And yet I was completely out of synch with the beautiful day surrounding me. Amazingly enough, I didn't experience any back and forth debate with my usually vociferous mind about whether or not to get to practice. I just kind of sleepwalked to my car and there I was.

But I was morose, in both mind and body. I wasn't exactly stiff. But there was no joy. I found myself a little slip of floor right next to a window and I did practiced. Sure, there were moments of floating, when my purakas (inhale breaths) flowed right into my rechakas (exhale breaths). But they were few and far between. And I had a nice moment when I got an assist from our our newest assistant, recently back from Mysore and world travels, in Prasarita Pado C. This was the third day in a row (not counting the moonday on Tuesday) when she assisted my hands to the floor in this posture, and I have to admit, the first day, I wasn't sure that I liked it. She is incredibly gentle. I almost don't realize she's there. In fact, it takes a few moments for me to actually realize that she is there. I am accustomed to very muscular adjustments, so this was a new experience. I kind of wanted to tell her, "You can really press my hands down," but of course, I held my tongue. But the next day, I found myself really enjoying the seemingly effortless - and painless - way that she got me into the pose. And by today, I was hoping she would come around when I got to the pose. And she did. So that was good. She also (again, very very gently) got my leg up super high in Uttitha Hasta Padangusthasana. I felt like a Rockette!

There are actually a lot of assistants around Shala X these days. It is the end of Shala X's Ashtanga Intensive, which has been going on for the past month or so, and some of the AI students have been giving hands-on adjustments in class these past few days. Next weekend it all culminates in a big open-house, where the AI students will be giving free classes all weekend for anyone who wants to come. I should note that the Gentle One is not from the AI program. I think she may have done a prior program - not necessarily called "Ashtanga Intensive". But I can't be sure because that's just what someone told me.

Anyway, so, it was a down day. And the down-day included a period of feeling quite despairing over my practice. Mari D has become challenging again, at least this week. I want so much to blame all the sweat. I am sweating BUCKETS at practice this week. And it's somehow different from my usual's somehow wetter. I know that sounds strange. Usually, my sweat makes me somewhat sticky when it dries. But this week, it feels like I'm taking a hot shower - from the inside out.

The result of this super-wet-sweat is that my arm wants to slip off my leg as I bind in ALL of the Mari poses. This is true even wearing my thinnest cotton yoga pants (American Apparel): the pant leg merely slips around under my arm and over the skin on my leg. It won't STICK. Also, it is impossible to keep my hand from slipping off my wrist in the binds. In Mari A, B and C, this is an annoyance. In Mari D, it is ruining it for me. I can't get deep enough, and on one side today, I slipped out of the posture before I wanted to.


I am sure that the sweat has to do with releasing the toxins from last week's Zometa infusion. Or rather, I am sure that I want to think so, because that will mean that there is an end in sight (to the excessive excessively wet sweating).

This contributed to my blues. And it made me feel uninspired to do Bhujapidasana more than once. And that made me feel uninspired to do more than six backbends. Or maybe nine. I don't remember. I just didn't care enough to remember.

And another whine: my right knee has been hurting. I know it is from Janu Sirsasana C, and I have to just BACK the hell off. Fortunately, this hasn't had a major effect on my practice, although possibly, it could be enough to throw off my Mari D. I suppose.

In any event, I came home, took a hot bath and decided to stretch. And once I got going, I really got going. Lots of research poses for Mari D (including bound Ardha Matsyandrasana). And then I started to do some research poses for the shoulders-tucked-behind-the-knee poses. Amazingly enough, my knee pain completely disappeared. I guess I needed to open my hips to counteract whatever the hell I've been doing to my knee in "Johnny C".

Oh my GOD! I am boring myself! I can't imagine what this is doing to you, if you're even still reading. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.


1 comment:

yoga chickie said...





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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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