Monday, July 21, 2003

Slow days here lately. My practice has been reduced to only a couple of pranayama sessions since Thursday. I should get the chance to do mysore practice Wednesday morning though. I had really hoped to be able to build my practice up to a sort of crescendo level going into our upcoming workshop in Mt. Shasta. Instead, my schedule for the next couple of weeks will likely lead to even less practice than usual. Last year we went to the first series session. Since my wife had been progressing thru the second series, this year we put in for the second series week. Not having tried to put my foot behind my head for more than a month or two, much less done the harder postures that follow, it should be a fairly humiliating week for me and lots of laughs for my wife.

In pranayama yesterday, most of the durations seemed easier or shorter than I remember them being the previous weeks. I don't think it's that I'm gotten capable all of a sudden. I will often count during the breaths and the retentions to distract my brain from the incipient hypoxia and the lengths have seemed shorter than I remember them being a couple of weeks ago. Maybe not, maybe I'm just counting slower. At any rate, practice was comfortable yesterday. A good thing whether the durations were longer or not. Today, I had a headache from lying the wrong way. I woke up with it in the middle of the night and never really shook it off. I didn't notice it much early on in the session this morning, but by the time we got to the alternate nostril breathing, every time we did the exhale retention, my headache pounded more and more. I wasn't struggling from feeling the need to breath, at least not initially, it was just a growing discomfort. As the headache became more noticeable, it distracted my concentration and I then started to feel more and more that I wasn't going to make it through a retention with out taking some breaths. I finally gave in and just breathed most of the rest of the way through the alternate nostril breathing. I was able to do the last two breathing practices, the bhastrika and the sitali breathing, without any problem. We'll see how it goes tomorrow morning.

Each day, I can feel myself getting stiffer. Wednesday will not be a progression day, unfortunately.

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