Before class, a few of the challenge participants sat in the lobby and shared our various aches. It's kind of funny actually. Everyone feels tight, especially in the hamstrings or lower back. Everyone is tired of dragging themselves to class. The problem, I think, is not going every day: its having to go every day. The really funny thing though, is that everyone also looks much better than before. And from the little I see in class, even though people feel like they are going backwards, its pretty clear that their practices are much stronger than they were.
Zeb wasn't there when I arrived, which is a first. It turns out he either forgot, or never knew about class. So 20 minutes before the start, he jumped in his car and he made the 30+ minute drive in about 23 minutes. So class started a little over 5 minutes late, and he still managed to end it on time, without skipping or shortchanging anything. If anything, the somewhat shorter class was both more intense, and less draining than usual. I know that sounds odd, but what I mean is that we moved with focus and intensity from pose to pose, so everything seemed sharp and crisp, and there was little time for rest especially in the standing series. But at the same time, we spent less time in set-ups and in the postures, so it was not as physically exhausting. Overall, it was a very nice class.
The severe soreness of the last few days is basically gone. And as I observed with the others, I am not actually going backward in the poses where I feel like I am. I may not be quite as deep as I was a week or two ago, but the difference is subtle. Instead, I feel so much tighter at those points that it just feels like I'm not doing as well. In some ways, I think this is part of the process of not being too hard on myself. As Bill Johns put it a few weeks ago, I need to learn to be kind to myself.
On the plus side today, I did well in the balancing series and made it without falling out in one set of Standing Bow Pulling. I didn't spit up and made it through both sets of Locust. And Rabbit seems to be getting better and better.
The biggest downside is that I got a cramp in my right arch just before Camel and had to sit out the first set to massage it some. I haven't had foot cramps in a couple of months, and I don't know if this was from overwork or from lack of electrolytes. I guess I will find out by seeing whether it comes back.
The hard thing now is not to look forward too much to the challenge being over. It's only two more weeks, which doesn't seem like much. But it seems like looking forward to the end has negative implications for the practice itself. More and more, I'm thinking that extending things out to 100 classes in 100 days is a good idea. And, to overcome looking forward to the end, I'm seriously thinking about upping the number of classes per week to 10 or more. By doing more than the challenge calls for, I will no longer be doing the classes just to get through the challenge.