Tuesday, September 26, 2006

PrepsCool, and I don't mean Phillips Exeter

[Alternative title: "I'm a Preppy, he's a Preppy, she's a Preppy, we're all Preppies, wouldn't you like to be a Preppy too?"]

I had planned on getting my butt to Shala X to practice with Steve From Santa B, but three days have gone by, and excuse after excuse keeps piling up. It's not that I make excuses not to practice. I always practice. I would daresay that other than Ms. Boodiba, a.k.a. Second Trip To Mysore, there are few out there who can say that they have missed less days than me over the past year and a half, not counting the six weeks I was forced to take off when I had abdominoplasty and breast reconstruction revision last summer (even then, I was practicing throughout the six weeks, intermittently, albeit without vinyasa). (Granted, I don't have a real job, and my kids are in school or camp pretty much all day every day year round, which makes it waaaaaaaaaay easier to fit in a practice; I appreciate that!).

I've heard only great things about SFSB. And it's great to have the structure of a specific practice time each day. So, what gives?

Well, I wouldn't say that it is an aversion to practicing with a teacher other than Sir (or to a teacher at all). I wouldn't say that it is an aversion to anything. I enjoy being at Shala X. I enjoy the energy. I enjoy the deep adjustments I get now here and there. I enjoy my peeps there. I enjoy the drive down the FDR, finding a parking spot and the routine of all that. It's more like a lack of drive (seriously, no pun intended) from which I suffer....not a lack of drive to practice, but a lack of drive to practice in a specific place at a specific time when I know that I can practice whenever the hell I want, wherever the hell I want, and it won't make a damn bit of difference.

See, without Sir there, I am pretty sure that nothing new is going to happen for me in Supta K or otherwise. Nothing ever has. Not with Petri. Not with Mark. I have no new poses coming my way, and no adjustments that are taking me deeper than I can take myself. In fact, and here's the rub: I can get deeper by practicing at home where I can do prep work wherever I see fit.

And I see fit a lot these days. I bind in Parsvakonasana and Parivritta Parsvakonasana, taking the total breath count in each of these postures to more than 10 (five bound followed by five unbound). Before folding forward in Prasarita Pado C, I interlock my fingers and press my palms together as tight as I can for at least five breaths, and then I do the reverse hands thing one arm, using first one hand to take the other arm into a deeper internal rotation and then switching sides (which gets me far deeper than when Sir has simply reversed my hands so that my palms face out). After the Prasaritas, I go California style into Hanumanasana and Samakonasana. And while I am in Hanumanasana, I do some deep forward bends, laying my torso alongside my front leg and then grabbing for my front foot and twisting "parigasana" style. And as I have mentioned, each half lotus is preceeded by a deep external rotation of the thighbone in the hip socket.

So there you have it. It's the prep thing.

Put me in Lilly Pulitzer shift dress with a pair of white keds and a plaid headband because I'M A PREPPY.

It's not that I am averse to the shala. It is that I feel a bit attached to my prep postures. And yeah, it could be argued that this is not Ashtanga. But I know it is. I am just doing my typical rule-breaking thing. And no one gets hurt. It's a victimless crime, really. I do it in the privacy of my own home so that no teacher is disrespected.

The way I see it, I could do it the totally Rules way, with the result being that I will eventually bind in Supta K. Or, I could do it the totally Yoga Chickie way, with the result being that I will eventually bind in Supta K. The difference is that I believe that the latter method will help me to actually feel more progress, understand the elements of Supta K better and ultimately bind in Supta K faster and independently.

Prep's cool by me. I wouldn't do it in public, true. But then, there are a lot of things that are totally cool that we wouldn't do in public, no?



Anonymous said...

hey lauren,
Want to join me for a 10:30 iyengar class at YS? I think my body needs an ashtanga break and I really want to hang on the ropes!

yoga chickie said...

Hmmm....that's not something I would have thought to do...but I have to be in midtown anyway at 12:15, so....what the hell. Email me if you have a change of heart! I wouldn't go without a buddy!


Anonymous said...

I'm on my way to run some errands, and will head over there soon!

Anonymous said...

Oh well- guess you never made it. I did make christopher take it with me, so I that I wouldn't be alone. The class was a little slower than I thought, but Dmitri was really good. I think I'll be back in morning mysore tomorrow.

DK said...


Let me know how the class goes. I could make some suggestions if you want to try a few more Iyengar classes.


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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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