Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Week 13 - Jenny

Took it slow today.  I'm not feeling that great.  So I moved through the poses with maybe a little less effort.  And surprisingly, I found I was able to do all the poses with less effort.  As a matter of fact, it seems the poses should be done with less effort.  Isn't that the goal after all?

This week's sequence was the same as the last two.  I mentioned that I attended a week-long workshop with Rodney Yee last week.  I was putting to use all the instruction I received there.

I felt more grounded than usual on most of the poses.  I've been working with a couple theories/notions.  First, always work towards Mountain Pose (Tadasana).  No matter what pose you're in, work towards bringing the body to symmetry.  Second, when you really get into the pose, it'll feel like nothing.  Not exasperating, not effortful, not special, just like nothing.

I moved lightly from one pose to the next, looking for this feeling of nothingness using the tool of Tadasana.  And finding it from time to time.  I even found some of the same feeling in the transitions from pose to pose.  The whole practice was freer than usual.  Easier.  I can see why some yogis can do these poses with no warm-up at all.

Another technique I should mention is the seating of the head of the femur (thigh) bone in the hip socket in Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) and Extended Side Angle (Utthita Parsvakonasana).  This is something I had been working with in my quest of Revolved Side Angle (Parivrrta Parsvakonasana).  I was noticing through my study that I have to get my front thigh truly parallel to the floor if I'm ever going to get the arm over the leg.  And I started using the same technique in Warrior II and Extended Side Angle.  And lo and behold, Rodney talked about this at the workshop.  He explained that the femur bone of the front leg really needs to SIT in the hip socket.  When I get the head of the femur seated, the knee comes in line with the ankle below it.  The thigh is parallel with the floor.  And the centering of the hip allows me to release the quad muscles and lengthen the entire pose.  Rodney also explained the wave of breath now coursing from the back foot diagonally across the chest.  When I get in the pose with all these points intact, I feel that wave.  And I see why Mr. Iyengar has you look over your front fingertips.  That wave of breath pulls my head to look in that direction.  Shocking, but not at all surprising.

I know Week 14 steps it up a notch.  Yikes!

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