Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Wishing friends, old and new, joy and warmth this season - continuing into the new year.

Narragansett, RI
Sunrise, Christmas 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Class# 283; AYC DC Mysore Class # 125: Balmy Weather Discoveries.

Woke up this morning to a heat wave of 35 degrees fahrenheit.
Now, this is what weather in DC is supposed to be like!

Slight chill, but nothing to chill a northern gal to the core.
None of this frigid weather that seized up each and every one of my muscles, especially attacking my hip-flexors, making many poses (including standing from UD) nearly impossible.

Back to a solid non-cranky practice this morning. On thing I did discover, if you stand you also have to drop back. Go figure. Apparently it's not cool to stand, then just sit yourself back down on your mat and set up for another Urdhva Dhanurasana, stand and repeat a couple of times.

The idea of dropping back, for some reason, just freaks me out.

It would really be nice to stop thinking - I think I think too much. I find myself in deep back bend and freak out. Gentle A called me out on this morning - told me just to let go. So I did - I was just about touch the ground with my fingertips, then... *THWAP* Full forward solid double knee plant - like the hammer of a mousetrap hitting the platform. Knees were forward, not hips. Assisted dropbacks, no problem. But I think of it this way, I've now fallen on my head and knees - maybe next time I'll find some middle ground.

At least I now know where the band-aids are kept in the shala.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Class# 282; AYC DC Mysore Class # 124: Winter.

Mornings like these I wonder if I'm going soft.

I'm a Yankee at heart - aren't I supposed to thrive in the cold?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Class# 280; AYC DC Mysore Class # 122: Follow-Up

The whole standing thing wasn't a fluke, I feared to say anything for fear of jinxing myself. I stood yesterday and again this morning.

Some observations.
  • number 1. As Tova has pointed out to me (on many multiple occasions), keeping heels down makes standing much easier.
  • number 2. Keeping my rib cage pulling up and head back with my eyes following up the wall in an arc creates an even distribution and transition of weight from hands to feet.
  • number 3. There's a subtle spiraling of the thighs inward - that creates an amazing amount of energy (see crash in my cartoon - I think I had lifted my head too soon)
  • number 4. "Practice and all is coming." Is a true statement - I would add patience, but I'll take the statement as it is - because patience is probably implied and adding it would be redundant.
IMHO, the most important observation is number 4 and this whole "standing thing" renews my confidence that my "art thing" (in whatever form it takes for me) will take off at some point. It just takes time and a willingness to work. As the SPY teacher asked me after I asked him in sheer frustration what I needed to do to stand, he asked me: "Why it is so important to stand?" I looked at him and realized the truth of number 4.

Sitting over tea with the Sophisticate
on Wednesday evening, with my cute 3.75" CK brown crocodile t-straps and she in her super cute black and white patent leather peeptoes, I realized there are so many things we feel we have to do, but hardly ever stop to consider why we do them. Once you accomplish one thing, there will always be something else. So really, there's no reason to become frustrated with the process - it will only make things more difficult. If anything, the process creates conditions conducive to Svādhyāya, in it's most basic sense of the word - be it study of the world, a higher force, or at the most fundamental level - the self.

So, I guess the moral of this story is sit back, enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Class# 278; AYC DC Mysore Class # 120: Eureka!

After fighting bronchitis and all of the stresses and commitments during the past couple months and not being able speculate the idea of standing (in earnest) from Urdhva Dhanurasana for well over 4 months now. After stopping at Supta Kurmasana today (even though I practice through Urdhva Muka Paschimottanasana) I went into backbends.

TYH. Total. Yoga. High.