Sunday, October 26, 2008


Sat. 9:30 am with Amy
Sun. 2:30 pm with Miranda

Saturday's class was really hard.  For the first time in months, I think, I had to sit out one of the postures.  We came out of the first half of Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee, and I couldn't keep my breath.  I was gasping some through my mouth, and in keeping with the new rules I set for myself, I went to my knees until I had my breath back and could give the pose my all.

Not being able to make it was weird for me now.  On the bright side, it means I'm still capable of pushing my self to the outer edge.  And I didn't blame myself too much for it.  Maybe I'm getting a little better about accepting each day for what it is.

After class I asked Amy about the humidity.  She said that the humidifier didn't kick on until sometime in the floor series.  When class started, the room was under 100 degrees, but with over 50% humidity.  And all of the humidity was just from the natural conditions.  She kicked up the heat to draw some of the water out of the air, but she insisted that it never went over 105.  Maybe so, but it felt really hot.

By the end of the class, it was perfect Bikram weather, and I was doing really well again.  So while the end of the standing series was really hard, the floor series was good.

And since I'm starting to keep score, my balancing series was fair at best.  I made it through a second set of Head to Knee and Bow without falling, on the right side only.  And I made it through one full set without falling in Balancing Stick.  I've got a long way to go to hit my goals in this series.  It should be interesting.

Which brings us to this afternoon's class.  I set up in the back row.  It makes a huge difference in the balancing series for me, and not for the better.  I fell out alot.  I think I made one side of one set in Standing Bow, and that was it.  On my left leg, I was falling to the outside continually.  It's much harder to focus on a single point in the mirror from the back row, and there seems to be alot more peripheral distraction.  But I'm thinking that the difficulties could also provide an opportunity.  I'm going to set up in the back a bit more regularly, on the theory that if I learn to focus there, it will increase my ability to focus more generally.

Miranda helped out today in a couple of poses, and it was great.  She pushed really hard in Wind Relieving, and was giving her general instructions to me specifically as well.  I got my knee much closer to my shoulder than I have before, and in the third part, I could really feel something opening up in my back.

Then she helped out in one set of the final stretch.  This was a bit scary, because I don't know how aware she is of the knee problem I've had.  After pulling out on my legs in the stretch pose, she whispered "I had to hold back a little so I wouldn't break your legs."  Nice to know that she was thinking the same thing I was.

Fixed Firm was good today.  I got down on my elbows in the second set with no pain.  Once again, I think Lenette's advice has worked wonders here.  She said I had a tendancy to let my left toes point too much to the outside, and I really needed to work on getting the toes of both feet pointing straight back, as much as possible.  This has made a world of difference in how the pose feels, and I'm getting much more of a stretch in the ankles and feet.  It's still slow going, but it seems like the foundation I will end up with should be much more secure.

The other thing I noticed about the back row is how different the eye directions can be here.  I'm pretty used to my eyes reaching certain points on the floor, or ceiling, or mirror, or wall, depending on the postures.  And I've tended to use those points as a measure of my progress.  Moving to the back room messes with that frame of reference, and that is also probably a good thing.  My guess is that I pushed myself a little harder today in some poses, because I didn't know what the usual end point was.  That is yet another reason for moving around in the room, and one I had not thought of before.

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