Saturday, May 17, 2003

Well, after some dicey negotiation after waking up today, I was allowed to go to the morning improv class. I had to promise to skip savasana and to not stop by Starbucks on the way back home so that I could make it to most of the oldest's basketball game. I can do without the post-practice ice tea I've gotten accustomed to. We finished early enough that I was able to stay for savasana, so it was a steal.

The room was a bit cool today. I didn't figure out why until about halfway thru the surya B's. The room had actually felt a bit warm while we were stretching out, so I had turned down the heater before we started class. Then, during the suryas, I noticed it seemed to be getting cooler and cooler. There even seemed to be a sort of draft moving thru. I finally caught on that the ceiling fans were going full blast. I got up and turned them down. Unfortunately, I adjusted it down too much and they slowed to a stop, so I had to get up again and turn them back up a bit so that there would be some air circulation. By then, my rhythm was off, I had cooled down and I wanted to turn the heater back up. I was afraid that I might piss off the people whose mats were in the area of the heater though, so I just left it as it was. The whole heater thing is a lesson in politics. Some people want it cranked to immolation levels. They then put their mat right next to it. Suggestions later in the practice to maybe turn it down a notch are poorly received. Other people object to it being on at all. I guess they don't need any help getting the internal heat going. Not many of them seem to really sweat very much though. I should have just left it as it was in the beginning.

We did a couple of sequences early on that made up for the lack of external heat. Instead of doing standard Surya namaskara B's, we did what they call Surya namaskara B plus. In this one, each time you go into the virabhadrasana portion of the sun salutation, you hold it for a full five count. Try that sometime when you're at a loss for ways to generate body heat. Then after we finished the B's, we did a series of postures called the anjaneyasana series. Anjaneya is another name for Hanuman, the great leaper. The poses help stretch the groins. The first one is the pose that others might be most familiar with, anjaneyasana A, the lunge pose. We started out in that pose, with our arms extended out laterally, then gradually (very, very gradually over a full five count), we lowered our hips until our back knee came down to the ground. After repeating for the other side, we then did another four variations. But, instead of just doing each variation once, each time we added one, we did all the ones that preceded it too. So by the last variation, we were doing the lunge, lowering to the floor over a five count; then raising our hands over head and lowering our hips further and steadily leaning as far backwards as we could for a five count; then parivrtta anjaneyasana, where in the lunge position, we twist toward the forward leg side and wrap the opposite arm over the thigh then back thru the legs to bind the other arm and hold the lunge/twist for a five count; then we unbind and while still in the lunge position, grab hold of the foot of the back leg and fold it forward towards the hip, like is done in bhekasana, for a five count; then we did hanumanasana for a five count. Then we did it all for the other leg. There's a few other variations that we didn't do, thank god. After all that groin work, it almost felt like we'd have to re-learn how to walk. Have to say, though, the up dogs feel completely different after doing them.

The Saturday class has a pretty wide mix of abilities, so the rest of the practice, which consisted of some backbend research and the late second series postures, slowed down quite a bit while the teacher demonstrated the postures and some alternatives for the benefit of those who hadn't tried them before. It was fun to do that stuff, but the drawback to that kind of class is that it's just about impossible to maintain the heat with all the stopping and starting. That's why my wife doesn't like those kinds of classes. I'll take 'em any time I can get 'em.

Compared to yesterday's practices, I didn't feel as loose today, maybe because of yesterday's practices. That sense of capability that sometimes occurs is such an fleeting thing. It's hard to know what drives it away. Was it the pizza we had at the after soccer party? Was it the previous day's double practice? The staying up till nearly midnight trying to figure out a way to make yet another practice day seem interesting in my blog? I think I once previously online somewhere made reference to the probable true culprit: JBL syndrome. Just Bad Luck

Hopefully, I can get it together for tomorrow's class. My wife let me have the led 2nd series class. She does most of those poses each day in her mysore practice, so she generously let me take it. After class, I'm gonna see if we can do that trapeze thing. I don't know if we'll have time, I have to work tomorrow night. For now, I haven't showered yet, so time for a personal hygiene moment

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