Sunday, April 5, 2009

Class# 350; AYC DC Mysore Class # 171: Integration

After a bit of a hiatus from writing due to life in general, (asana practice, work, social life) I'm back. I had so many plans for this weekend thwarted by the warmth of the sun and recovery from some evil stomach bug that knocked me on my butt for the better portion of last week.

When I have made it to practice, averaging 4 days per week, things keep on opening up - save for one part. My left shoulder - man it has felt stiff. But binds really haven't been that much of a problem, if anything they' generally felt pretty sweet. I emailed K on Friday asking him about this and if he had any suggestions or thoughts. It's not injured, just feels disproportionately stiff to my right.

So this morning K took some time with me and my shoulder during down dog,
parvritta trikonasana, and urdhva dhanurasana. The "problem" with my body, is that I can be too bendy and really need to engage much more so that my upper back and shoulders collapse into themselves. In DD K gave some very precise Iyengar style tricks. Which means for me, really rotating my arms in a manner that feels somewhat like the rotation in urdhva dhanurasana. (Fwiw, my triceps are currently on fire.) For me that shoulder rotation really resulted in broadening my upper back and I was able to really engage my legs, and might have found a bit of that elusive mula bhanda.

parvritta trikonasana, as he pressed against the extended arm to align my hand arm and shoulder (apparently I'm hyper-extending my shoulder), he used the word integration. A concept I've been thinking about a lot recently.

Anyone who knows me knows that I talk a lot about trying to find balance and oft comment that I'm just trying to find balance. Flippantly stating or offering that it's just trying to find balance. But I'm starting to wonder if it's more of a process of integration. When I "integrated" the muscles of my arm, shoulder and back, the energy of the pose completely shifted. It was much more work, but the way it felt made the work all worthwhile.

I brought the concept of this to the rest of my practice and there was little stiffness apparent in my shoulder. Save for
pasasana on my left where I couldn't get the proper rotation of my shoulder to reach the bind.

But back to integration. I'm almost tempted to say where balance can ultimately be stagnant, integration provides and promotes strength, growth, and forward movement. It's really like a relationship, friend or lover - there are many who come and go overtime, but there are a select few who become so deeply integrated and entwined with your existence that they grow and (promote) change with you. These are true friends - when they are not present there is a void, when they are around life becomes that much more full.

* * *

My blogging here might become a bit more sporadic as I have started a little project for myself - journaling about each practice, each class I attend. Something I've intended to do for awhile now and finally getting around to it.

I'm sure some thoughts will migrate from here to there and quite possibly from there to here. I've come to see this a bit more like a composite of my life - from yoga to art to food to life in general and the things that make it blissful. For me, this really isn't the place for the nitty gritty detailed analysis of each and every asana practice.

No comments: