My main teacher is out of town this week giving a teacher training seminar in Vancouver. Yesterday, one of the people who normally assist him in the Sunday first series class led it instead. My wife was going to practice in that class but ended up assisting and adjusting instead. It worked out okay because her knee had been bugging her anyway from some messing around with postures she had done while at the beach the day before. She normally doesn't give me too many adjustments--one time I got a little snippy with her for what I thought was a poor prasarita adjustment. The ones I did get yesterday were better than they were the last time she adjusted me. Doing all those other classes has seemed to mature her technique and her confidence in adjusting. She wisely doesn't try to help the big sweaty guys come to standing from backbend. She had one guy crater the other day in one of the gym type classes she teaches. I think that cured her.
I was in a tough row of practitioners yesterday. To my right were a couple of guys with floaty jumpbacks and good practices. To my left was this really built woman, she has more muscles than the three of us guys, who has a really nice, flexible practice too. It was an invigorating group to be in. I didn't really rise to the occasion with a stand out practice though. It was sevicable but that was about it. My goal was to be strong by the time I got to backbends, so I think I kind of under did it in the effort department for the rest of the practice. I had made it to standing from Urdhva Dhanurasana for the first time last Friday and I was hoping I could do it again. If I could get up again yesterday, I was going to try for a drop back too. We did two sets of three back bends. I used the first four reps to loosen up and get as deep as I could. I tried to get up on the second rep of the second set. I didn't commit that well on that try and bailed out back down to my mat. My wife scowled at me and hissed that I needed to lead with my chest and keep my head back. I know that's what I need to do, I just don't yet have down how to do it each time. I did get up okay on the last one but then there was no time to try the drop back. The woman to my left made it to standing for the first time ever yesterday. She was stoked too, but in a nice quiet kind of way. Getting up made the practice seem better somehow and hearing her pleasure at her breakthrough made it more so.
Getting to practice was a little of an adventure yesterday. My car has those tires that have a "low profile". The wheels are bigger than average so the wheel itself has shorter sidewalls. It's just the look sports cars have theses days I guess. At any rate, with shorter sidewalls, it's a little tougher to tell when your tire is getting flat. I had only had the car for a few months when I noticed that one tire really did look almost flat. The tire pressure before I filled it up was down around 12, normal would be 36-40. This happened a few more times over the succeeding weeks so I had planned to have the tire looked at soon. Not soon enough, as is usually the case. I was on the freeway going about 85 when I felt that telltale mushiness and started to hear the wobbly sound of a flattening tire. I got over to the shoulder and pulled up near a emergency phone to check out the damage. When I pulled the wheel off, the tire had almost completely separated from the wheel right at the rim on the side that faces in towards the car. This wasn't a flat, it was a full on blow out. Now I'll never be able to find out if the tire was defective somehow. The dealer will just say I let it get too flat and that running it with the tire low allowed the tire to warp and blow out. Changing the tire was an adventure. I hadn't had to do that in six or seven years. Squatting down on a side slope changing a tire with semi's blowing by at 85+ mph only four feet away is a testament to the concept of a leap of faith. Fortunately, it was early enough in the day that there were no drunk drivers out who might have inadvertently 'picked me off'. I show up to practice though with my hands almost black from brake dust and grime and bloody from where I had taken a 1/2 cm gouge out of my thumb pad somewhere in the process of changing the tire. Such was my focus on the traffic and trying to get done and out of harms way that I never felt anything until I got back in the car. "Why is my steering wheel wet? Oh, it's blood. Why am I bleeding? Oh, There's a cut there under all that grime. How the hell did that happen? Man, that's not going to help in binding." Worst of all is how pitiful the car looks with one of those dinky space saving spare tires on it. I didn't realize it at the time, but you're not supposed to drive more than 50 mph on those things. When I found that out this morning, I traded cars with my wife since I have to commute about 35 miles of freeway. Few things in this world could be more humiliating than having to drive a BMW convertible 50 miles an hour in Southern California morning rush hour traffic. I probably would have been run off the road by some irate guy driving a 1982 Beetle. So, now my wife is pissed off that taking care of this is being dumped on her while she's trying to finish the arrangements for our up coming trip. Plus, she's mad that we're going to have to pay to have the tire replaced rather than have it done for free under warranty. I think she has a higher expectation of car dealers than I do.