Saturday 9:30 am with Connease
Janna really wants me to do Half Tortoise correctly. It's so easy to ease off in this pose -- to think that Fixed Firm and Half Tortoise are both well deserved resting poses after cramping my entire back for the last 10-15 minutes. (Is back strengthening series really that short?) In this class, Janna told me she was going to guide me through the corrections in first set, but I had to do it on my own for the second.
Here were the corrections: Thumbs crossed, and use them to squeeze the hands together. Only pinkies on the floor. Straighten the neck even more. The last was something of a surprise. With my neck straight, both my forehead and my nose pressed flat on the ground. I didn't know I had that in me, and thought I was doing the pose fairly well because I was getting good contact with the forehead. The really cool thing about these corrections is that they seem to have stuck, at least through another class. And that's a start.
In general, class was good. I've been reading up on blood pressure symptoms, so now I'm getting all of them. It's a good thing I didn't go to med school. I would have had every symptom known to man. Anyway, I felt a bit lightheaded after Standing Separate Leg Head to Floor, and skipped a set of Triangle. Otherwise, it was a nice solid class.
Today's class was tougher. I think it might have been hotter, at least in the Standing Series. Or maybe I've just honed my psychosomatic skills. I started feeling a bit weak in Awkward. By Balancing Stick, I didn't know if I was going to make it. Then I skipped a set of Triangle, and then a set of Standing Separate Leg head to knee.
The parts I did, I did pretty well. Standing Bow is getting better, both in terms of how high I'm kicking up, and in how long I can hold it. The real stretch right now is underneath the shoulder blade of the arm holding my leg. I feel like I could get much deeper into this pose if my shoulder blades would just open up some more. (Same goes for Floor Bow and Camel.) In fact, after class I'm feeling the most in that area right now. It's getting hit in just about every pose these days: Half Moon, Standing Bow, Balancing Stick, Locust, Floor Bow, Half Tortoise, and Camel.
Another interesting note. I took my blood pressure after yoga both of these days. On the first day it dropped 20/15 points. Today, it dropped to normal -- 122/80. It's not permanent, but it does seem pretty miraculous. Maybe I should just do five classes a day, and I'll keep it down for most of my waking hours.
The day 294 meditation applies a lesson we learned about asana to meditation. It's pretty simple. Don't worry so much about doing it perfectly, and just do it. Sit still and be quiet for 15 minutes a day. Just try to focus and be still during that time, and don't worry too much if it's not going "right." The important thing is doing it. The rest you can let go.