It's been a while since I've taken the late evening class, and it was very nice. I felt looser later in the day. The energy level in the room was good. And for the first time, class started after the sun had set. Practicing in the dark is different, and made things feel almost serene.
I found another pose I've been doing wrong: Rabbit. There are several head to knee compression poses in the series. In at least two others, Separate Leg Head to Knee, and the final stretch head to knee, we are encouraged to put our heads up even above the knee if possible. When I first started Rabbit, it was impossible for me to get my head near my knees. Then I could do it, and I was really proud of my progress. Then, I could bring my head down to my thighs instead of on the front of my knees. I was so pleased with that progress, that I just went ahead and did "better", apparently without listening. As a result, I've been rolling too far forward on my head and planting almost the back of my head on the mat. Today, I realized what I was doing wrong, and followed the instruction of putting my forehead on the knee and rolling forward so the crown of the head touched the floor. My hips went up much higher, my elbows locked naturally, and I felt less in my neck and even more deep in my lower back.
The odd thing is that I'm making these small discoveries now in poses that I thought I did well. No, for me, I did do them well. But that just shows that there is always room for improvement, and sometimes it is fairly obvious room for improvement.
Overall, today's class was really strong. I had very good concentration in balancing series. I did a full minute in Standing Head to Knee without falling out (kicking up right leg). I did both sides of Standing Bow in second set without falling, and getting a decent view of my foot over my head. Balancing Stick was balanced for a change, without any falling.
I'm slowly making some progress in the Separate Leg Forward Stretch. This one is really hard for me because I'm so tight in my hips with my legs spread. It seems like the key here for me is to keep my eyes open and to try deliberately to lengthen my back. I've taken this one really slowly for a while because it was probably the chief culprit in my sciatic problem.
Floor series was strong, and pretty relaxed for me. Back strengthening just felt good today for some reason. No dreading Locust, and I'm even getting better about easing out of the postures instead of just collapsing to the floor.
Camel was great again. It's getting to be one of my absolute favorites, and I'm always amused when the teachers try to encourage people to stick with the pose, because for me its never been that much of a killer. Today, I was actually a bit disappointed when it was over; I felt like holding it longer.
Now I just need to figure out what to do with the excess energy I get from the 8:15 class. It's been a little while, so I'm not used to it any more. And here it is, at 3:08 in the morning and I'm typing this when I should be asleep....