Thursday, May 29, 2003

No posts after practice with Tim last night. I got home around 8 pm. I sat around with the kids for an hour, then after they went to bed, I laid down of the sofa for a bit. My wife has seen this sort of thing before so she knew what was coming. At her suggestion that I should just go to bed if I was tired, I replied, "I'm not going to sleep, I'm just resting." When I woke up an hour or so later, I decided to take her advice.

Yesterday there were only 14 or 15 people in Tim's class. He has two assistants who help him with this class. So, with a teacher to student ratio of 1 to 5, we had an ADJUSTA-PALOOZA. I didn't get all that many from Tim but I did get a lot more adjustments than usual. I had a real deep adjustment in Ardha Baddha Padma Pascimottanasana. Like most people, I tend to have the shoulder of the binding arm much higher than the other shoulder. The assistant worked with me on getting extended down the leg and with getting my shoulders level. It was a good squash. The two assistants have very different styles, which was interesting. The guy tends to have a fairly firm hand and is very good putting you where you haven't been able to get before. The woman approaches adjustment with a more subtle, guiding technique, often indicating with just a light touch on your back or shoulder or hip where you need to be directing your energy to put yourself into a better position. I liked getting both approaches.

Having that many teachers with that few students made for a more tiring practice than usual. When a teacher is helping, I tend to try my best, or hardest, at doing that pose. That even applies when they are hovering nearby. If Tim or one of the other teachers is moving past, I find myself trying just that little bit more to do the pose even better than I might normally. That works great when they come by on occasion. When one of them is next to me on just about every other pose, it starts to take its toll. I kind of felt a little sorry for the woman next to me. She was new to our area. In general, it seems that people who are new to the studio tend to get more than an average amount of the teachers' attention. That was true for her, in spades. One or another of them was helping her every third pose it seemed like. Interestingly though, she had gone to the afternoon mysore class that immediately preceded our class, so this was her second class, back to back. A bold and curious thing to do, but even bolder and curiouser, when she was introducing herself to Tim just before our class, she mentioned that she had just finished doing the other class. Now that was an upfront, honest thing to tell him, it's just not something that I would have done. I don't know how he took that but I would be willing to bet that he didn't think it was the best thing in the world to be trying to do. At any rate, no quarter was given. He asked her at one point, I think it was at backbends, if she was tired. She replied that she was. He walked on. You get what you ask for. She did well though. She didn't look any more tired than I felt.

For today's practice, I had low expectations. I was in the OR all day. The last case was taking a while so I was sure I wasn't going to get out in time to make it to class. But, we got done with just enough time to chance it. Fortunately, traffic was just average so I got there with enough time to touch my toes a couple of times before we started. Despite having been on my feet all day and having a minimal pre-stretch, I was almost as flexible as I was yesterday. I did forward bends with no problems. The areas where I could tell a difference, where I wasn't up to par, were ones requiring binding. Not sure if my limitation today was in the shoulders or in my twisting but the ardha baddhas, the marichy's, supta kurmasana, baddha padmasana all were below my norm. Today was the first time in a long time that I couldn't get both big toes in baddha padmasana. I struggled and strained for the second toe for a couple of counts then gave up and just folded forward. It wasn't worth missing the pose just to get my toe. I was very happy just to get to class. That I wasn't hurting and having to strain just to get into postures made it even better. The only negative was the savasana. It couldn't have been three minutes. I shouldn't complain. I had to be at work again at 8 o'clock so it's probably better that we didn't stay down any longer.

I left class with my hair all soaked from sweat. I had a little less than 30 minutes to get the 25 plus miles to work, so I was going a little faster than is allowed and I had the top down. When I got to work, my hair was fixed in this wind blown mess that was as refractory to combing out as a perm. Fortunately, I can just slip on one of those hats we wear in the OR that covers up your hair until I can get a shower.

For us'ns in SoCal, tomorrow is the moon day. New moon. I hadn't planned on attending any classes at other places. None of the teachers at Tim's studio teach on moon days. My wife told me about an evening class tomorrow that is taught by one of Tim's students that we both like and respect very much. So maybe I'll go to that. We'll see.

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