Monday, April 28, 2008

Calm follows a storm

Practice was nice today, if eerily quiet, or at least eerily quiet until I started working on Second Series, at which point I start jabbering almost uncontrollably. I really need to put a lid on it.

I found today's sub to be a calming presence at first, and as my practice veered into Second, the calming presence became a downright delightful presence. She's been taught by the best, so this shouldn't be a surprise. Plus, I hear that she has a special place in her heart for the learning of Kapotasana. Whatever it is, she is incredibly patient and has the most inspiring work ethic. Or she senses the work ethic and me and is allowing me to go with it. Put it this way, after working with her on Kapotasana, I had absolutely NO desire to go any further, which to me is a sign that I am currently maxed out on my current practice. I grudgingly did Supta Vajrasana, and kept my right toes the whole time.

So, glad I didn't stop before my time. But there was no need to add Bakasana, the next one, Ardha Matsyandrasana and even Eka Pada as had originally been planned. No need at all. I think perhaps if the Good Doc were there, I might feel differently because of his different approach to assisting with Kapotasana. Afterwards, I would feel a mixture of excitement and dispiritment (if that is a word). I was happy to get further than I could ever have imagined, but I was laid low by the sheer drama of it all. The next few poses, being easy for me, would have brought me back into an even keel.

With today's sub, I worked MYSELF to my max, with her gentle assistance, as opposed to her putting me into the pose. And I was already at an even keel by the time I was finished. Supta Vajrasana was just like putting the cork in the bottle.

Or something like that.

There is no denying for me that since I have been practicing Second Series, or my chunk of it, I am a bit whacked out. Not sure how to describe it other than that. I have abundant energy. And then I have none at all, like right now. I am exhausted, but I wake up several times in the night. I am happy. Then I'm grumpy. I'm so f-ing hungry. And I want CARBS. I don't want to gain weight. I wonder how much more work I am doing - how much more energy I am burning these days.

Truthfully, I would like to weigh even a few pounds less than I do, but only because I would like to be able to lift up higher in my vinyasas and in between Navasanas. That is so lame, I know. I'm small enough already, I know. But it can be so tempting to think that certain strength moves would be easier with just a little bit less junk in the trunk.

No worries. I have no willpower beyond that which I have already incorporated into my life, which is pretty substantial. I just don't think I can raise the bar any higher.



Polly said...

When did you start to learn the primary series - how long have you been at this?

Yoga Chickie said...

I took my first Primary class - led, not Mysore in January of 2003. I wasn't well at the time physically and it was way too hard for me. If I had known about Mysore, I could have done that. But I just went to easier led classes - vinyasa classes at Jivamukti primarily. Those aren't "easy", but they are easier than the Primary Series.

I did vinyasa classes for two years. Then in January of 2005, I got interested in Ashtanga again. This time, I had the stamina, but I did not have the flexibility or strength for everything. I did led classes until that spring, when I switched to Mysore stle. So, it's been three years of Mysore style study, and it took me nearly a year to just get past Marichyasana C. Then another 15 months to get past Supta Kurmasana. The rest came within a couple of weeks.

I have been working on Second Series for about eight months now. Still have issues with backbending. I can stand up from a backbend reliably, but it looks like crap most of the time, and my head is definitely RARELY the last thing to come up.

That's my Ashtanga story!

Carl said...

You don't have issues with backbending! You have issues of thinking you have issues.

Yoga Chickie said...

Funny you say that. Good Doc and Sub both tell me it is my breath. Sub said, "stop thinking! I can SEE you thinking! Just breathe!

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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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