Thursday Thanksgiving! and off.
Friday 2:30 pm with Miranda
Saturday 9:30 am with Amy.
I took two days in a row off for the first time since Hurricane Ike. I felt great, except the Thanksgiving feast gave me a headache. I didn't drink much -- one beer and a small glass of champagne. So I'm blaming it either on the turkey (which was my own doing, and delicious), or just on general overeating.
The headache stayed with me through Friday morning and up to class, so I was a bit concerned about how I would do in class. By Standing Bow, the headache was gone. After class, it stayed away, and then came back slightly after a couple of hours. But nothing like it was in the morning. Add another item to the list of Bikram benefits: it can cure some headaches. I was especially surprised that it had that effect since I basically ate nothing before the class.
When Friday class started, my head hurt so much that I had a little trouble staying balanced on two feet. I decided to hold back some in Standing Head to Knee, and made it in the first position (grabbing the foot and locking the standing knee) for the full first set. Then I made it kicking out through the full second set. So much for balance problems. Standing bow was good as well.
The rest of yesterday's class was sort of a blur. The one thing I distinctly remember was Miranda pulling back a bit on my hands in Half Moon, and then putting her knuckles into my spine just below the shoulderblades. This had me slightly arch the back backwards, and it did let me go further into the pose. Now I'm trying to recapture the same feeling on my own.
Today's class was very ordinary. Balancing was not good. I fell out a bunch in all of my poses. Then I had a pretty good Separate Leg Forward Stretch, a very good Triangle, and then I lost it in the first set of Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee and had to sit out for a set. My legs were tighter than usual, and getting into the pose was harder on my balance and I was having trouble keeping my breath.
The last two classes with Amy, she has called me out on not locking my elbows in the first backbend. It's odd, because this is something that I would say that I work on. But apparently not enough, because when she calls me out I can improve it. Locking the elbows makes the bend feel even more funky and insecure. That's part of what the "don't be afraid" command in that pose addresses. Without being able to see, its very hard to know for sure if I'm getting this one right. Now it looks like the answer is: if I feel OK, then I'm doing it wrong and I should try to stretch my arms out more and really lock the elbows.
Here's the funny thing: a few weeks ago, I obsessed over my knee, over my sciatic pain. The petty little injuries gave a focus to my practice. Now, I'm pretty much injury free. I feel a little tightness in the hamstrings, but its not even close to an injury. And as a result, I'm thinking that my practice lacks a real focus. In an odd way, the injuries may have been a blessing. They gave me something specific, and very real, to work on. I still, for some reason that is probably wrongheaded, feel like I need something more specific to work on, but anything I might choose seems a bit arbitrary. Next month, Amy is going to start a program geared towards next year's Texas Asana Competition. Maybe concentrating on that will fill the gap (a gap that probably shouldn't be there).