Friday, May 09, 2003

I had an interesting day overall. The highlight, of course, was going to mysore class. Followed shortly thereafter by the low light, a ticket for floating thru a stop sign on my way to work from practice. My fault completely. I was on the cell phone checking with my nurse to see what I had coming up when I got to work, so I was too tuned out to see him just sitting there waiting to tag fools like me. Pity too, I think I was right around the 5 year mark from my last ticket. Time to look into traffic school, though apparently you can do that on the internet now. I wonder if a cottage industry has evolved yet of people willing to do it for you for a fee.

I was a little worried about being stiff for this practice, given that I had very little stretching in the preceding week. I got up early and crashed the 6:00 am pranayama class so that I could quietly stretch out a bit before we started our class at 7:00. It worked OK. I was stiffer than I would have liked but definitely loose enough to challenge myself in most postures. Worst "body part" for me today, and really anytime that I have to miss practices, was the prasarita/upavishta muscles. I did do a few upavishtas before class and that helped. If I hadn't, my prasaritas and my kurmasana would have sucked.

I got a little air-headed a couple of times too. I completely forgot to do ardha baddha padmottanasana in the standing poses. Usually if I zone out and forget a posture, I realize it as I'm moving on the the next one. I can then go back and get into the proper sequence. This time I didn't catch on until I started doing the seated ardha baddhas. "Why am I so stiff with this?" I wondered. Then the light bulb came on. By that point in the practice, I couldn't go back and pick up where I screwed up. Or at least I chose not to. It would have eaten up too much time. I guess I'm a little more time sensitive, because I try to have enough time in the two hours we have available to us to do the first series postures and to also get in the second series poses I have been given so far.

In addition to forgetting the ardha baddhas, which is not unheard of for me, I got out of sequence after krounchasana. I almost skipped shalabasana. I don't know why I have a problem in class keeping those first few second series poses straight. If I'm not practicing, I have no problem remembering the sequence. But every now and then, like today, I'll zone out and just blank on what to do next, "Crap, what comes first, shalabasana or bhekasana?" Or, "Oh man, which leg is first in krounchasana?" I realized right away that I was about to skip it though. I had been doing supta virasana as a prep for bhekasana. I got a good adjustment in that from my teacher. As I vinyasa'd out of it to do bhekasana, I realized something was wrong. My wife was across the room from me. I kind of mouthed a question to her to make sure I got the sequence right. She gave me that disgusted look I usually get (she correctly thinks that people who are doing second series postures ought to at least be prepared enough to know which postures to do, if not be able to do them) and told me to do shalabasana. I cranked those out a little quick so that hopefully the teacher wouldn't see me and realize what a dufus I was and hold me back until I managed to get a clue.

Other than those little stumbles, the practice went fairly well. I didn't get all that tired today. I'm not sure if that's because I've started developing more stamina or if it was because the room is chillier in the morning. I was able to get a good sweat going but I didn't get that sensation of getting too hot or too sweaty that I sometimes get when the room is real warm. I wasn't tired at all, even thru the backbends. Usually, I'm pretty marginal by that point. Today, I was able to focus while en posture and I was able to try using different muscles to get into the the bend more deeply. I was able to do the teacher assisted drop backs much more smoothly than usual too, with most of the effort being mine rather than the teacher's.

Surprisingly, my best posture today was kapotasana. I was expecting to have lost a fair amount of ground since I haven't done the pose since my last mysore class almost three weeks ago. I did some research poses before going into kapotasana, but instead of doing the viparita dandasana stuff that I usually do, I instead worked on the floor against the wall trying to stretch my shoulders. I then did some groin opening stuff. Then, I went into the posture. My teacher was right next to me so he and another teacher both assisted me from the get-go. I was able, with their assistance, to grab my feet past the "knuckle" of the big toes, for the first time ever. More significantly to me, I was able to be put there, including the positioning of my shoulders, without it being a dicey struggle. In the past, I would huff and puff and gasp and grunt out loud with my protestations of exertion and extremis. My wife had to point these noises out to me. I wasn't too aware of doing it, being otherwise mentally occupied at the time with trying to reconcile myself with the possibility of shredding my shoulder. I think having a little more in reserve today allowed me to be able to relax a bit more than usual and let myself be positioned without unconsciously resisting it as much as I might have in the past. After making a progression like that, I find myself doing the "If only" song and dance. "If only I could do this more regularly, who knows, maybe some day I could...." You know the rest of it.

The other thing about today's practice is it was one of those where you sort of look up at some point and realize, to your surprise, that you're almost done. You've been aware, in a sense, that you were doing it all along, but it just seems to slide by. Then at some point, you slip back into normal awareness and bing!, "whoa, dhanurasana already?"

For some reason, I don't get into savasana as well in most of my mysore classes as I do with the evening classes I go to. I still get a relaxed feel out of the class, but not the same deep level of smoothed-out-ed-ness that I like. I guess some of it is the distraction of people starting to work their way out of the room as they finish their practices. I just don't think I let go of my thoughts as well in the morning. Maybe I just need more practice at it.

Other than the little pow-wow with the gendarme on the motorcycle, the rest of the day went very well. I saw a few folks in the clinic in the morning, then helped another doc in the OR in the afternoon. Got done in time to speed back up the coast in time to make the last 5 minutes of my daughter's arena soccer match (arena soccer is soccer played in a walled off playing area. It's just like indoor soccer, but this one is actually outdoors). They looked pretty good in the short bit that I got to see, so I was surprised to find that they got smoked pretty badly. I also missed the part where my daughter did an endo and smacked head first into the artificial turf. She apparently got a little dizzy, so it must have been a good one. Then we all went to a nice dinner for my mom's birthday. Don't ask me how old she is because I have no clue, shameless excuse for a son that I am. I'm betting 70+ or something. Happy birthday mom, and many more.

No comments: