Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Week 6 - Jenny

I have to say it again - Wow. I feel amazing. I'm not sure why the Week 5-6 sequence is smacking me in the face so much more than Week 4 and before. I wonder if it's the core work. This is the first time Mr. Iyengar has asked me to really push myself - he asks for endurance and power in Full Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana) and especially Half Boat Pose (Ardha Navasana). And the exhilaration coupled with the popped open feeling I'm getting from the extended standing poses - Extended Triangle (Utthita Trikonasana) and Extended Side Angle (Utthita Parvokanasana) - I've talked about that feeling before - is jolting me into this wild open rib cage where prana flows like a flooding river. So then I felt like that prana was coursing through me as I was upside down in Shoulderstand (Salambha Sarvangasana I). Then more opening of the rib cage by opening the back of the ribs in Plow (Halasana). So I enter Corpse Pose (Savasana) with this free flowing breath and Mr. Iyengar hits me again with Ujayii pranayama in Savasana. He has you time it for 5 minutes. Well, when my alarm went off, I popped out of Savasana like a jack-in-the-box. I could take on the world right now. And I will.

Two other things of note: I realized as I was getting ready for the sequence today that Mr. Iyengar has not yet asked for Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). That quintessential yoga pose of us Westerners. Interesting.
I would like to point out after my tirade about ab work last week that Mr. Iyengar makes some comments about the work that made him wise beyond that decade. He emphasizes the strengthening of the back in the Boat poses. And we still call this ab work. It's core work. And Mr. Iyengar knew that even in the 60's. He also talks about the work on the abdominal organs rather than the abdominal muscles. I don't know much about that, but it makes sense to me that you would rather work the organs. The muscles will get worked no matter what you do. But the blown out six pack of body builders is not exactly healthy or, well, attractive. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger knew that - he kept his abs lean and pulled in. Yes, strengthening of the back. Wise man, this Iyengar.

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