Tuesday, September 09, 2003

I've lost that typing rhythm again. Lately, the last thing I've wanted to do after practicing is to sit down for an hour or two analyzing and recording the experience. Just lazy. Plus, the practices I had this week were so non-descript.

I had a mysore class last week, I don't remember what day it was, I think Thursday. I have to have my little schedule book to be able to function chronologically. The only thing that stood out that I can remember was that I did manage to do a drop back and also stood up after the drop back. Big woo. I'm sure there must have been something else that happened that might be interesting, but I honestly can't think of anything.

I did the Improv class on Saturday. For the first time in quite a while, I was non-plussed by the class. We did a bunch of twists, some familiar ones like Ardha Matsyendrasana, some less commonly seen. It was a different class. I got more fatigued in it than I had in most of the previous improv classes I've gone to in a month or so. I just didn't enjoy it as much for some reason. Maybe I was in a non-receptive mood that day or something.

On Sunday I did the led Second series class again. I had told a friend from work that I would cover his back up call for him so he could take his current fling to a hoity toity resort in Laguna Nigel that open up recently. This is the one call where we do have to be available on a beeper. Every other kind of call is an "in-house" call where we're there in the hospital for the duration of call. On the back up call, we don't get called in that often, usually only if someone calls in sick or if the whole world is trying to give birth at one time. I called L&D before class to make sure the odds of getting called in were low but I had to take my cell phone to class, just in case. That's sort of a crime against nature in the yoga world. Sometimes we'll be in class and somebody's phone will go off in the area where everybody drops off their shoes and stuff. When they get up to answer it, Tim will boom, "That had better be God calling." I set up my mat next to the door so that if it did go off, I could get it and be out the door in just a few seconds, hopefully minimizing the disruption. Fortunately, it remained a slow day on L&D and I wasn't needed. The class itself was a mixed bag. My backbending was marginal. I think the twisting the day before tightened me up a bit. I was only able to reach the front of my toes in Kapotasana. Plus, when I came up to kneeling from the straight arm portion of Kapotasana, I felt that kind of crunch sensation in the low back, like I had used the lumbar area too much. I've been able to avoid that sensation completely till now, though doing so has probably led to a slower progression towards back bending capability than I might have achieved if I was willing to go at it harder. The forward bending portion of the class went much better. I did okay with the leg behind the head poses, though I'm still nowhere near getting Dwi Pada Sirsasana by myself. I've been trying to get into it using a couple of cheats that my wife suggested: using a fold towel under my butt to minimize tipping over and using the wall against my back to stabilize myself while I struggled with getting the second leg back and over the first. I didn't get it in the time we had but I got closer than I ever have before. The Tittibhasanas went well too. I was able to bind, to the fingers anyway, in B. I didn't get my legs straight. I can tell that's going to be a long term project. My hams aren't loose enough or long enough or whatever to be able to pull that off. Most of the rest of the class went according to plan. I wasn't as tired as the preceding week, so I was able to make a better effort at some of the latter poses. I didn't fall out of any of the handstands. I think I kind of cheated in Mukta Hasta Sirsasana C though. I always tip over as soon as my legs approach the vertical point. I usually have my arms straight out to the side, in line with my collar bones. Today, I watched a couple of people near me go up before I tried it. They had their arms and hands pulled back into a slight tripod positioning. I moved my hands back and gave it a go. It's certainly more stable but I don't know if it's kosher. I also think I tweaked one of the heads of the deltoid of my left shoulder trying to lever my way up by holding counter pressure in my arms. It didn't hurt at all that day I noticed it that night. I though maybe it was sore from golfing that afternoon, but then realized if my shoulder was going to be hurting from golfing, it would likely be my right one, not the left. It's settled down okay, so I doubt I did anything serious. I'm going to be a little more cautious the next time I try that headstand though.

Today I went to mysore practice. This was one of those classes that I get the privilege of going to by dint of working the night before. Fortunately, I got a ton of sleep. I had what was probably one of the best all around classes I've ever had. Nothing exemplary took place, no real breakthroughs, I just did most things as well as I am able to do them. No rough edges, no balky areas of the body, no running out of steam half way through. No regrets or "if only's". I had a couple of good handstands after Navasana reps. Most of the handstands I only held for a half a second. But in the two good ones I stayed up for a few seconds easily then did a reasonably slow descent to Chaturanga, just like the big kids. My Kapotasana had good depth for me. I had no assist today, just little old me. I was still able to get past my toes. The tightness in my shoulders still prevents me from achieving a good form but the back and groin portions of the pose are getting better. I debated on whether to put a towel around my toes to help me simulate a bind in Supta Vajrasana. Instead, I opted to try and keep my grip on the toes as long as I could, then released to grab the arm of the person helping me while I finished the pose. Back bends were not fatiguing at all today. Funny how that comes and goes so completely. I stood up after the fourth backbend. It was a better than average stand up. I wasn't as far up on my toes as I sometimes get and I didn't over rotate or under do the stand up so my momentum came to a stop with my weight right over my feet. Dropping back down quickly regressed into a fret-fest though. After a few aborted attempts, I slapped myself mentally and made it down with my best (still not good) form to date. I did make it back up to standing after the drop back. Now I've just got to work up the gumption to do three or four drop backs in a row.

That's been the story for this week. Tomorrow is a moon day, so nothing happening. The next seven days, I've got this special call coverage that's going to pretty much limit my practice for that week to only pranayama classes at 6 am. I might get lucky and get out in time for an evening class but the odds are low. So the writing may be sparse for a while again. This time the excuse will be legit, unlike this week and a couple of weeks ago, when I can only claim laziness.

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