I worked harder today on the breathing technique I described yesterday. I managed to keep it up with some focus through several of the postures. It seems to help quite a bit. One of the ideas behind the technique is that you might be able to achieve a moment of stillness at the point where you hold the breath between inhalation and exhalation. I didn't notice that so much, but I did notice that at the moment where I was holding my breath in before exhaling, I was able to examine what was going on with the pose and make a real decision about what to relax during the exhalation. As a result, in a few poses I had a new feeling of release and movement along with the release on the exhale.
Overall, class today was very strong. The single hardest moment was the move from the first backbend to the first forward bend. I used to drop right down in the forward bend and start the Bikram shuffle with no trouble at all. Today, I had just barely made it to the floor by the time we were supposed to go into the hands to feet pose. Lenette even said something like, "That's right, Duffy. Take all the time you need to get down, you are looking good." Looking good -- thats a matter of opinion; but I was feeling like crap. Second set, as always, was much much better. And the rest of the class just seemed to get better and better. Locust was decent again today. And I felt like I did a really good Camel. Zeb has been really punishing us in the set-up of Camel recently, and it seems like its paying off. I'm much better able to really bend backward first, so that when I reach down for the heels they are just there.
There may be a slightly insidious reason why this yoga is so addicting. These days, I wake up and I'm feeling really stiff. My back will be a little tight, my left hip will have objections of its own, as will my left knee. But I know that after yoga everything will feel better for the rest of the day. So, as weary as I am of going day after day, the idea of missing class also means going to sleep almost as stiff as when I woke up. Yoga makes that feel better. But the downside is that the yoga also seems to be making me even tighter the next morning. Thus, there is a cycle of addiction. (Not all addictions are necessarily bad.)
It also occurred to me this morning that my plantar fascia-tis in my right foot is completely gone, as are the other nagging pains. For a few years, I would have shooting pains in both heels from time to time, especially when I first got out of bed. The pains in my left heel disappeared almost immediately after starting Bikram. In my right foot, they dissappeared, and then I started getting a new pain on the outside of the foot and in the arch. These also would come after sleep, or after sitting for a long time. But now they are completely gone, and I didn't even notice.
This is very exciting in its own right, but it is also a confirmation of the idea that Bikram will bring up problems in your body and then work through them. I've been told that this is how things will work, but its great to see it in action. So despite what I said above, I still think its true that the cure for yoga related soreness is more yoga.