Monday, July 19, 2010

Week 19 - Ariana

My copy of Light on Yoga started to fall apart. The appendix fell out. I am both proud and saddened by this. I am sad because obviously I want the book to last. I have owned this copy for 17 years. I am proud because it means the book is getting a lot of use. Wear and tear shows more personality.

The sequence for week 19 is very different once again.
1. Headstand variations
2. Shoulderstand variations
3. Abdominal work
4. Back bends
5. Forward bends and twists
6. Savasana

I like doing Headstand and Shoulderstand right after one another simply because they are the king and queen of yoga poses. Iyengar places them early in the practice because they are so important and it is better to do them early when you still have energy. Most classes I attend have these inversions at the end rather than beginning of class. I think there are advantages and disadvantages either way. If you do them at the start of class you are not as warmed up and it may cause strain in the muscles. However if done towards the end of practice, one may be tired and therefor not as alert, which can make one more prone to injury.

Chakrasana is not happening for me yet. I roll over to the right side in order to press up. But I have to say that is an improvement from the last time I tried that pose. The last time I did not go anywhere. I have not figured out how much I have to press into my hands in order to roll over and come up. I will keep trying and keep learning.

Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottansana and Bharadvajsana are also challenges to me. It is easier for me to get my right leg in half lotus than my left. Although I recently discovered that keeping my left sit bone anchored as I place the left foot in padmasana alleviates pain in that knee. My left hip was coming up off the floor and I was leaning too much to the right. That unevenness in my pelvis affected my knee. It is indeed all connected.

As I went through the sequence, I would come across certain poses and say to myself, "I can't do that." But I tried it any way with an open mind to see what happened. In many instances I did variations rather than the full pose. Equally as good in my book.

Which brings me back to my old copy of Light on Yoga that is falling apart. Hopefully it will hang in there through the end of this experiment. Hopefully I will too!

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