I took yesterday off. I'm following a similar rule to what I do in Final Savasana. In Final Savasana, as long as I feel like I need to get out of the room, I stay. I can only leave when I'm comfortable staying. Two days ago, I didn't really feel like going to class, so I went. Yesterday, however, I would have been fine either way, so it was OK to take off the day.
Class was really good today. I started off well in Pranayama. I've been doing this harder than usual recently, and really feeling a stretch in my ribcage. I don't often get the dizzy feeling they talk about, but sometimes I feel like I might be on the verge of it.
The breakthrough, of sorts, came in Standing Head to Knee. I made it through all four sides of the posture without falling out. The first three parts were really strong, especially kicking out the right leg. On the left side kick out, I could only hold the kickout for about half the time, but managed to keep my balance and my standing leg locked, while retreating into the first position. And in the last part, the retreat was comical. I almost lost my balance, and bent my leg sort of sideways to keep myself up, then managed to pull it back together out of sheer determination. So it wasn't pretty, but it's still a first.
Then, of course, Standing Bow was almost a complete bust. Actually it wasn't that bad, but I fell out of each part about 5 seconds before Miranda called change. And in one part, I was much worse than that, falling out a couple of times. But I guess that's what I get for congratulating myself so much over Standing Head to Knee.
Triangle was also really good today. Miranda came and put my stretching up arm into the proper position, and it made the tension/pain of the stretch just a bit more exquisite. As much as this pose hurts (and its the set-up that hurts me much more than the pose itself), it has come to be one of my favorite poses. More than any other pose, this one feels both like I'm working really, really hard and also like I could hold it for a very long time if necessary. You can't really hold the other ones that work you so hard: Balancing Stick, Locust, Full Locust, second part of Awkward. Well, maybe some folks could and I'm beginning to see how it could be possible in Awkward, but the others are way too intense right now for me to think about holding them for minutes.
Fixed Firm took a step back. My knee was feeling a bit worse today, and it was cracking alot in a new way. So I couldn't get as deep as I have been, but its not a major setback and I don't feel like I've re-injured anything.
In the final stretching poses, Miranda came by and started to pull my heels forward a bit. Afterward, for a few moments, I felt like I had been on a rack. She obviously knew where to stop because nothing got hurt. But the stretch was amazing. I'm probably supposed to remember the feeling and try to get to it on my own, but I don't know if I can do that. In India, Yoga is a one on one experience between a guru and his (almost always his) student. I sometimes wonder how different that sort of experience would be, and how much faster, if at all, the progress would be. Someday, I'm going to take a private lesson, or share one, to see what the individualized attention for a full class would be like.