Cisco came to class today with a friend who went through teacher training with him, and who now teaches in Colorado (I think). He was just behind me, and he had a really strong practice. No water, perfectly still between postures, and extremely controlled coming into and out of postures. The teachers have told us time and again to try to get quickly into the Savasanas on the floor poses. He took this almost to an art form. While I was just kind of turning around, he was already on his back and relaxed.
Having them in class was both an inspiration and a hinderance. It's great to see people with so much energy, focus, and discipline. So from that aspect, it will probably be a big help for me in the future. But at the same time, there were several times when I realized that I was losing focus because I was watching more than concentrating on my own poses. Of course this raised its ugly head most in the balancing poses.
I did learn one detail from them. I've been going into Triangle wrong. We're told to move our arms only when going from the last part of the set-up into the pose. I had been holding the arm-chest alignment steady at right angles and dropping into the pose. I saw both of them moving just the arms from the shoulders to get into the pose and then moving down from there to get the fingers near the big toe and first toe. In second set, I tried it that way, and it made a big difference, in my hips at first, and then I noticed that I was able to stretch down in the torso, as well as up, which of course is what we are told to do. Here's the amazing thing: once again I realize I'm doing something wrong, and that the right way to do it is the way the dialogue says.
How many times is this going to happen? I've really been trying to focus on the instructions and doing what I'm told, and I'm still finding lots of areas where I have either refused to listen, or just gotten it wrong. I know I've complained about other people not being able to listen, and maybe the reason it bothers me so much in other people is because I know how guilty I am of exactly the same thing.
Overall, class was good and strong. Hot, but not crushing. I felt really good throughout the floor series. Camel was great again. I went back on my elbows in second set of Fixed Firm. And I even did one set of Blowing in Firm in Japanese Sitting Position. It's been a long time since I tried that. So my knee is definitely, if slowly, improving.
Two other pieces of good news. Rumor has it that Bikram will be coming to Houston for a workshop sometime in the next several months. I don't know the date yet. And next year, the Woodlands will be hosting the Texas Asana Competition. I bailed on this year's competition, which was yesterday, when I got the sciatic problem. But with the location so close, and so much time to think about preparing, I see no reason not to do it next year. Maybe that will get me a bit further into Standing Head to Knee.