Monday, July 7, 2008

Day 19

10:30 am class with Lenette.

It turns out I've been spelling her name wrong.  Who would ever have guessed?  As usual, a very nice class.  Lenette has a very good mixture of encouragement, compassion, and humor.

I was struggling some (as is usual) in Triangle and just after.  I wanted to go down, but decided to stick it out instead.  The fact is that even when it's bad, I can probably still do it.  And I know that I can control my breathing through these poses, but sometimes I just don't want to badly enough.  So as hard as I'm working at this, I can still see areas where I feel like I might be slacking off.

Libby's talk about the water bottle and the "showers" has sunk in some.  I've tried to give up some of my "crutches,"  and then I am noticing new ones creeping in.  Right now, I have a habit of trying to recover by leaning forward some.  What I'm doing, I know, is trying to get my head lower than my heart to lower the heart rate some.  But I shouldn't have to, and I'm going to try to stop it, if possible.  I'm also drinking water when I know I don't have to.  Frankly, if I go into class properly hydrated, then there probably isn't any physical need to drink during the class.  So far, I've only started to get really dizzy once.  And that was not from dehydration.  But water is a crutch that I will probably have to wean myself off of slowly.

My knee is fine.  I went fully into fixed firm in the second set, and didn't feel anything out of the ordinary.  Yesterday, when I told Libby about the knee problems, I said that I had thought it might be from engaging my quads so much trying to "lock the knee."  To my surprise, she said that I don't fully lock the knee yet.  She said I'm pretty good about it, and its good that I never hyperextend, but I could more strongly engage the quad, and it would help with my foundation.  So there is something else I've started to concentrate on.  In standing head to knee, I'm basically back to step one:  I'm trying to lock the knee strongly for the full minute and balance.  And I still can't do it.  And I'm paying more attention to it in the other balancing postures as well.  In Balancing Stick, it really seems to help.

Half Locust was good today.  That's two days in a row where I've made it through without collapse.  And today, I could even focus on trying to go deeper, and trying to feel what was going on in my back.  It actually felt sort of good.

And Lenette gave me a tip in Full Locust.  She had me start by reaching out a little forward as well as straight to the side.  Then when the arms went back, my entire chest went up about 2-3" further with the same amount of effort and a big feeling of opening through the front of the chest.  It's amazing what a huge difference very small details in the set-up make.  I managed to repeat the improvement in second set, and I'm hoping that I'll be able to recreate it tomorrow.  This is a pose where they say that people can plateau for years -- so the bump I got from this little tip is very cool.

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