Friday, April 2, 2010

Week 8 - Ariana

Today I have Samskara on my mind. The glossary definition in Light on Yoga is "mental impression of the past." I have also heard Samskara defined as unconscious habits of the body and mind of which we can become aware through self-study.

Yoga offers many tools for such self-study. How do we react to stress; how do we stand; how do we sit; how do we eat? How do we do our asanas (poses)?

We get used to practicing the poses in specific ways and with certain teachers and we tend to think that is THE WAY to do the poses. We tend to do poses the same way over and over again preferring the path of least resistance. Sometimes it is useful to change the factors in order to yield new results.

I am out of my comfort zone this week - out of town without my mat, my wood floor, my props, my music, and my environment. I am in 80 degree weather after a week of cold rain in NYC. I am using a thin travel mat placed on top of a carpeted floor. Yikes. Needless to say the poses felt different than usual and I felt out of sorts.

I like to use three blankets for my shoulderstand to protect my neck. Today I did not have my blankets but I still did the shoulderstand and could not lift up as much and could not stack the hips and feet above the shoulders. My back was rounding more than usual and I felt an over stretching in my neck muscles. It did not hurt, but the pose felt crunched up and constricted. I still prefer doing it on the blankets but it is good to try it different ways sometimes in order to check in.

I also usually like to use blocks for the standing poses. They help me find space in the torso so I can twist more in poses like Trikonasana and Parsvakonasana. But I did not need blocks today. Maybe my body is more open and limber from the heat. Or maybe my blocks have become crutches in the poses.

Today I feel centered but slightly fatigued - I think because I am not used to the heat.

It is good to shake things up and see what happens.

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