Wednesday, July 22, 2009


4:30 pm with Amy

Class was simply fun again. My stamina was good. I felt a sense of ease through almost the whole class, while still giving a solid effort. I didn't skip anything.

The first backbend was really good. I don't think I went any deeper than I have before, but my arms were more solidly locked, and I feel like I was getting more of a bend throughout the spine, instead of simply in the lower back. It also earned me a compliment, which is pretty rare for that pose.

Balancing was strange. I fell out early several times in Standing Head to Knee, and also Standing Bow. Then I took a moment to focus and breath, and pretty much nailed it. I'm thinking that I need to start working more diligently on simply concentrating in these poses. The main obstacle here is no longer physical, at least on most days.

I did really well in back strengthening poses today. For the first time in a while in the early afternoon class, I had no problems with reflux or hiccups. Amy had us stretch forward as we were coming into Cobra, and it really helped isolate the lower back, and gave a much better stretch. Locust was actually enjoyable for the first time in a long time. And then I got another compliment in Full Locust. Again, that almost never happens. But I actually had some energy reserves for Full Locust and managed to concentrate on the stretch across the chest and really lifting my arms up and back. And my feet stayed together.

Amy is putting together some promotional material and wants some photographs of students. We talked a bit about which pose I should do for this. She agreed that Triangle was probably the most picture worthy, although she also suggested Locust. Of course, I'm really flattered by this. It's too bad she couldn't have some before and after pictures.

I also mentioned the idea I recently had to offer students, especially new students or students starting challenges, before and after photo sessions in a few select poses. I really wish now that someone had taken some before pictures of me in a bunch of the poses, especially the poses where I can't see myself (the first Backbend and Forward Bend, Standing Separate Leg Forehead to Knee, Locust, Camel and Rabbit).

In the day 202 meditation Gates says a wonderful thing about the growth of his students. He says that often new students come to his classes as adolescents in adult bodies. Over the course of a few years, as their bodies become younger these people otherwise grow up. They do things to make their jobs more meaningful. They volunteer. They spontaneously help others. I can certainly attest to the idea of the body growing younger after only 16 months. As for the other part, it's very nice to hear, and it gives some reason for hope.


Bosco said...

Two nights ago I pulled a hamstring muscle (something I don't think I have ever done before) while playing kickball with a bunch of kids from church. It was very tender. Nonetheless I went to class last night, vowing to take it easy on any poses implicating the hamstrings. Well, it turns out that that's MOST of the poses. So I decided to just take it very, very easy throughout the class and just get through it, which is what I did. At first I struggled with being so "lazy," but eventually just decided to accept that this was going to be a low intensity day. Some of the poses I just didn't really do, or at least not on the side requiring use of the right hamstring. After class Sarah said that was actually the right approach, and that she thought I looked "strong" throughout class. (Odd that I could look strong while sitting on my butt during Triangle.) Today my hamstring is feeling much much better. I think the fairly light stretching and contraction in the heat did it very well. And I don't feel bad about my low intensity practice. I did about as well as I could for yesterday. Today is another day.

I agree with you on the balancing series. I am to the point where it is all in the head. On a good day I think I am clearly capable of holding Standing Bow for the full minute, but after about 45 seconds I am saying to myself, "Wow, am I still holding this? I can't possibly make it the full minute," and then end it because I am not apparently mentally capable of holding it the whole time. This is definitely a box of my own making that I need to deconstruct.

Duffy Pratt said...

Be very careful with your hamstrings, even once they start healing. Think of the classes as an opportunity to learn exactly where your new edge is on the right hamstring, and make sure you don't pull it again. They can take a long time to heal, and are very easy to re-injure.

And isn't it amazing how much more the class works everything than you would think at first glance. That's definitely a lesson I learned first with my knees, and then again with my elbow.