I’m much better but still not feeling quite 100%. But after six days of mostly sitting still I felt I needed to move, I needed to do something. I even dreamt that I was doing Utthita Parsvakonasana last night. So even though today was moon day I got on the mat. Oh, the weakness. And the difficulty of breathing with a stuffy nose. But also the joyous feeling of moving through those familiar poses. After Janu Sirsasana A (and skipping some vinyasas between sides) I decided it was enough for today. I don’t want to give myself a heart attack or pericarditis. Tomorrow is a new day.
Home sick today, tired and with a really sore throat. Starting to feel a bit restless, going on day four of this forced rest. The only positive thing about this is that I’m allowing myself to eat as much ice cream as I want without feeling guilty as it is really the only thing that makes my throat feel any better.
I did have a great weekend even though my throat was getting worse all the time. I headed up to my hometown to join my old gymnastics association in celebrating their 90th anniversary. A great show that made me quite nostalgic. This gymnastics association was a huge part of my life for many years. From when I was probably around three and participated in the parents and children group with my mum until I left my hometown to go to university I took part in various forms of gymnastics, dancing, aerobics etc, all in the context of this gymnastics association. For many years I also did a lot of coaching. It was great fun and it taught me a lot. I’m a bit sad not to be part of neither that specific community nor that kind of community anymore. And I really miss that kind of movement.
The five days of practice with Petri came and went. It was nice but I kept missing the feeling I had during the practice intensive in December, when I left almost every practice feeling like I was walking, maybe not on clouds but at least half a centimeter above ground. Obviously this has nothing to do with Petri’s teachings and all to do with where I am right now in my practice. Practice is a bit of a struggle right now, that’s just the way it is. I’ve been feeling stiffer for the last month than during all of winter. My back keeps acting up during dropbacks and I, who have always loved and done deep backbends with ease, now need to take a step back and really approach dropbacks with care. My collarbone and the joint where it’s attached to the sternum, and the muscles around it all, hurts. On Monday I was still doing Tittibhasana A. On Tuesday I dropped that one too.
Omitting all those asanas makes me feel a bit guilty, like I’m cheating. Silly isn’t it? I realize that this says quite a lot about how my mind works. That overambitious, always-do-your-best and worrying-too-much-about-what-everyone-else-thinks-about-me mind of mine. I’ve worked so hard on releasing those feelings but somehow, with everything that’s been going on with the thesis, I feel like I’ve regressed back to where I started from. Maybe even beyond that, if possible. Or then again maybe not since nowadays I am, at least, able to recognize those feelings in me. But it’s not just the practice that is a bit of a struggle right now. In life, and on the mat, it’s become painfully clear what I need to learn. I need to learn to let go. To not require so much from myself. And to realize that sometimes it’s not about what I can do, but about what I choose not to do.
But luckily life isn’t all lemons even though many days lately have felt quite sour. Today was a sweet day. I first got to spend time with many good friends and later I ran in to one of the best ones ever ♥ And I got to experience the joy of my first ever lotus in Sirsasana. And I really don’t care that it was with the legs the “wrong” way.
Petri is in town for the week and I’m enjoying the opportunity to practice with him again. As I’ve mostly been practicing in the afternoon for the last four months the early mornings will require a bit of getting used to. In addition I’m feeling really stiff at the moment, more so than during all of winter. I suspect my new hobby if running can be blamed at least partly, even though I don’t really run that much. I don’t know if the running is affecting the twists, all of which are suddenly oddly difficult. Binding first side of Pasasana by myself is not really happening at the moment, thus Petri’s help this morning was greatly appreciated. But I definitely blame the running for my tight hamstrings. If it’s also the cause of the stiffness and soreness in the hips and lower back I’m not sure of. That’s probably a result of many other things as well. One problem is at least that I’m apparently unable to relax a particular set of muscles in the lower back when dropping back. I’ve gotten some good suggestions on how to work the body in the backbends, hopefully something will work out. Mainly I’m focusing on opening the upper back more. As I’m currently avoiding the both-legs-behind-the-head asanas, asanas that normally require a lot of energy, both physically and mentally, practice feels oddly light. It does leave me with more energy to work on Karandavasana, although I do feel kind of stuck in that asana as I’m still not able to do the lotus without help and I need to be able to do the lotus to really work on landing and lifting the asana. One thing that I hadn’t even noticed but that Petri immediately noticed this morning when I mentioned the pain in the collarbone area is that there is actually a slight anterior dislocation of either the sternoclavicular joint or the costal cartilage of the first rib, I’m not quite sure which it is. It might be both. No wonder there’s a bit of an issue there. Luckily it’s only slightly dislocated but I should probably have someone take a look at it. I’m of course wondering when the dislocation has happened. Did it happen at one particular moment or is it something that has slowly progressed? This kind of dislocation is apparently not too uncommon as I found a couple of ones in the changing room after practice, but of course it’s still not a good thing. I better stick to backing off the few asanas for still some time and let it heal. And probably go see the osteopath to see if he can do something about it.
This turned out to be a rather long post even though I was only planning on saying that it’s really nice to practice with Petri again Petri’s primary series book will be available for sale on ashtanga.com and amazon.com (June 6) soon, make sure you get your copy. He also has a intermediate series book but that one is only in Finnish. I don’t know if there’s any plan to translate that one as well. Maybe if enough people request it
Petri’s primary series book is finally coming out in English. It’s beautifully written (at least the Swedish translation) and the pictures are also really beautiful. This is the book I turn to if I need to check the details of any asana or vinyasa. Don’t miss it!