Warning: long post :)
Yesterday was mostly a crappy day. I slept really badly but still woke up early and couldn’t get back to sleep so I was tired and didn’t manage to drag myself to morning practice. I was annoyed, I was frustrated as people keep fighting at work, like it isn’t hard enough anyway without any extra BS. Then I went to the shala in the afternoon only to find that I had forgotten my yoga pants. I live near the shala so I went home, but at that point I wasn’t sure if I was coming back as I was really pissed off at everything and nothing. Thought I should have gone to yoga in the morning anyway, then I would have remembered the pants as I would have partly dressed in yoga clothes at home. Walked around at home for a while, weighing my options. There was still time to make it to the upstairs shala, although that would have meant I’d be short on time, which would have stressed me. Then there was the opportunity to go to the downstairs shala, but there J would be teaching and for some reason I didn’t really feel like practicing with him. Or then I could just stay home. What to do, what to do? Finally I decided to go back to the shala and to go downstairs. I thought it would be better to go practice with J than to stress upstairs.
The class hadn’t started yet when I arrived but I took my mat and put it down on the floor and started my practice. The room was warmer than the upstairs shala, it seems to always be, and my body felt soft and strong. People say that the energy is really good in the downstairs shala. I’m not very tuned to sense those things so I can’t really say, but based on how light my practice felt, how I felt like I was floating in the vinyasa, actually being able to jump through, hold for a half a second or second or so and only then sit down on the floor, I’d say that it must have had something to do with a good and strong energy in the room. It lifted me so that I almost went over when I kicked up my legs after Virabhadrasana II, oops :) Marichyasana Ds bound easily, wrist grab on the first side and could even take hold of the shin with the other hand. In Supta K my fingers found each other again without help for the first time in months. Legs are not even close to crossing but I’m starting to think that that has more to do with them being so short than me being stiff. I mean, I don’t think that it is even possible to cross them unless they are behind my head and I can’t get them there alone until I feel ready to try the Dwi Pada entry for Supta K. And I’m starting to really get that Supta K exit. P’s advice earlier this summer to lift, lift, lift the pelvis really got me to understand how it’s should to be done. Pasasana bound easier and deeper than usual, although still only finger hooking. Some instructions from J in Salabhasana, urging me to straighten the legs and place the heels together. Now, I’ve been thinking about this before but never asked anyone; how are the legs supposed to be? Tim told me to straighten and turn knees inward. J told me to straighten and keep heels together. The one kind of excludes the other. What is the “correct” way? When I got to Kapo I did one preparatory Kapo B and then J came to help me. As in Houtskär he first tried to take my left hand to the heel. For some reason that doesn’t work on me and I find it frustrating and irritating when somebody does it that way so now I decided to say something. Just said “try the other hand first”. And that was much better. J told me to keep my elbows pointing backwards. I guess there’s some stiffness in my shoulders that makes it difficult for me to keep my elbows pointing towards the back of the mat when hanging back and going for the heels, they tend to start pointing towards the sides. Hmm.. How to open the shoulders more? Anyway, J got me into a deep Kapo with solid heel grabbing, oh joy! :) And after a really good Supta V assist where he placed his fingers so that I could grab them when I couldn’t quite hold on to my toes. Really good way of helping me. By now I was not only sweating buckets but also warming up to J again. Arms were stating to get tired but the Bakasanas were quite good anyway. A little “rest” while stretching in pigeon pose before the Eka Padas. The first side is still so difficult, I don’t feel at all closer to being able to release the leg. But the second side was maybe the best ever. And then, without any more extra stretching I did Dwi Pada. And got the right leg behind the shoulder. But even though it’s there I found that I couldn’t find the balance to take both hands off the floor. I guess I’m too squeezed together. Tried again but no better so lifted up. I guess the lift up is also not correct as I can’t let my pelvis shift forward or I’ll fall over, but I’ll work with what I’ve got for now. But then, because I roll the right the right leg of my pants up to enable the leg to slide over the shoulder I need to put my feet down and roll the pants down to be able to do the exit, otherwise I’m too slippery to manage it. It’s difficult, this pants issue. Sometimes I need long pants, sometimes shorts :)
Backbends were good, not many Urdhva Ds needed before coming up to standing and doing the dropbacks. Then some handstands and then I decided to try the tics. They went well, especially once I managed to catch the handstand really well and move towards a good Vrschikasana before dropping to the floor. Softest and closest landing so far. Then I tried to toc twice but I couldn’t quite come over. Especially the first one was really close, it kind of stopped in a Vrschikasana were I could see my toes, but lacked like 1 mm and I couldn’t quite engage the right muscles enough to pull it over, so I fell back down into a backbend and tipped over and onto my knees. On the third try J came and gave me a little push to get me over. Finally the assisted dropbacks. I didn’t want J to try to take my hands to the ankles immediately so I told him about my issues with that. He told me to do the backbend and that we’ll see where we’ll go from there. So I did, first the small ones and then down. Walked my hands in. Crawled a bit more. All the time I was able to keep my heels down. Then J lifted the right hand closer, then the left. Maybe he did it again, I don’t remember, but when I got to that scary point where I feel that my weight will shift too much to the hands if I move at all closer I said “no more”. “Good”, was the response I got. Yes, good that I, who mostly just shuts up instead of saying what I should say, opened my mouth and communicated my wishes and feelings yesterday, several times. It made so much difference. While giving me the Paschimattanasana squish J was saying that it might not be that I can’t transfer enough weight to the legs but that the “problem” might lie in the shoulders. Maybe it’s the same thing as in Kapo. Again, how to release the shoulders?
After practice I was so happy I went, it was the best practice ever. Or at least the best in a very long time. Also those issues I had with J disappeared. And I fell in love with that shala downstairs. I might start going there more often… When walking home I felt filled with joy. What a good end to a day that felt so crappy before.