Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Monday 4:30 pm with Jean

For the first time in a while, the room was cold. It was 94 when I arrived, and I doubt it ever got much over 100. The strength part of class (and its surprising how much of the class involves strengthening) becomes much easier when its colder. And that makes the class seem less tiring. But at the same time, at least for today, there was a noticeable difference in flexibility as well, especially in the forward bends. It's fairly easy to adjust to those variations, and overall class was quite satisfying. Sometimes its nice to simply feel stronger, even when that extra strength comes more from the weather than anything else.

I don't remember much on any of the poses. I just remember two corrections. In standing bow, my kicking leg was a bit out of line. It's more over the top of the opposite shoulder, instead of coming out of the top of my head. Jean had me work on getting it in line, and the adjustment has a huge effect in my hips and hamstrings. Needless to say, I fell out. But I think I have a better understanding of the pose. And Jean said afterward that if your foot isn't where you want it to be, you can just use your hands to move it over. I'm going to try to remember this.

The other correction was in Balancing Stick. Get my chin away from my chest. It's a simple thing, and something I would know if I was looking at someone else. But I was not aware that I was tucking my chin in. So I corrected it, and of course, fell out. This is another thing I'm going to need to work on. Moving the head is about the hardest thing to do in any of the balancing poses, but I think its especially hard in Balancing Stick since its just sitting out there on its own in the middle of nowhere.

The day 207 meditation focuses on another quote from one of Gates' students. He basically says that asana practice has made a big difference in how he deals with fears outside of class. Instead of dwelling on them, he's capable now of observing them and then moving on. Gates says that this progress came for this student over years of practice. In some ways, I can see some of the same things happening with me, but I also admit that its a slow process. Sometimes, I can do exactly what this student says. And other times, the little worrisome things are just that. The nice thing, however, is that if I catch myself now, I can probably help things out by just stepping back and breathing. And if that doesn't work, the next yoga class isn't too far away, and that will almost certainly help.


Anonymous said...

actually i think she meant if your foot is misplaced in standing bow... it is because your arm/shoulder that's holding the foot is over extended or contracted in some way. so what you need to do is move the arm. you'll know in what direction to (and how much to) move the arm or adjust the shoulder by where the foot appears about the head.

i think she just tries to explain things simply in class to get some understanding to as many people as possible in the short time allotted.

also- it is likely she was unfamiliar with the heating system at that studio. and might not have wanted to or really know how to make it warm enough.

oh... and i think she probably has great respect for your commitment and devotion to your practice.

...i'm just sayin'...

thedancingj said...

.... did your teacher just come and comment on your blog?? haha... i'm not gonna get involved in that discussion....

that is a good correction in stick. diane always made us look at our standing foot IN THE MIRROR (no matter WHICH row you are in - ooooh, tough). that's actually in the dialogue, but lots of teachers leave it out or change it to just "4 feet in front of you," which is for toe stand, not stick. anyway, looking at your foot in the mirror will DEFINITELY show you where your head needs to go!