Thursday, September 9, 2010

Week 26 - Ariana

Many surprises for me in this sequence.

1. Lotus so early in the sequence without a hip warm up
2. Downward Dog towards the end of the sequence
3. Backbends at the end of the sequence
4. Garudasana right before Savasana

I had more time today for the sequence. I did not feel rushed and enjoyed staying in and breathing in the poses for longer than last time. But it did not take me that much longer- maybe 20 minutes more than last time.

The Urdvha Padmasanas (one in Headstand and one in Shoulderstand) stood out for me when I first looked at this sequence. UH-OH.  Full Lotus is not available to me in any inversions. I am working on a seated Full Lotus on one side (my left foot will not go over the right knee). And why is it so early in the sequence without a warm up? At first I thought I would skip them entirely and do Lotus preps instead. But then I decided that would break the flow of the inversions. In the end I decided to try it out. I literally said out loud to myself before I went up into Headstand, "Let's see what happens."

I ended up doing a Half Lotus Variation with each leg for the Urdvha Padmasanas. Surprisingly gravity pulls the foot down closer towards the hips. I felt like the foot FELL closer towards the groin without my having to put it there.

I had never heard of Pindasana while in Headstand and Shoulderstand - bringing the knees towards the head while in Full Lotus in the inversions. By the time I got to it in Headstand I was ready to come down so I didn't really try it. It was different in Shoulderstand.  I did Pindasana with the Half Lotus position. It was very comforting, even more soothing than Sarvangasana.

I did one arm at a time in Niralamba Sarvangasana II before I put both arms at my sides. I held it briefly and then almost rolled down to the floor.

Virasana and Supta Virasana felt different. I sat lower in Virasana. The block was on the lowest height. Usually it is at the medium height. And Supta Virasana felt softer and easier too. It almost felt good.

While I was doing some of the bound seated twists I felt that once the arms are bound the spine is liberated. The spine can move more into the pose. 

Adho Mukha Savasana towards the end of the sequence - wow. I loved having this pose so late in the sequence. In my personal practice this is something I open up with and there is always some muscle group or joint that is cranky when I first do it. Not here. What a lovely Downward Dog. It felt so open and strong. I experienced stability and mobility in the pose at the same time. My hands and feet did not move but I had mobility in all the joints.

And then come the backbends at the end of the sequence. WHY? Garudasana is the last pose before Savasana. Not exactly a Savasana prep pose. Mr. Iyengar states that Garudasana prevents cramps in the leg muscles and removes stiffness in the shoulders. So my thought was that he wakes up the legs with the Utkatasana and then soothes the arm and leg muscles before Savasana. This is all I have come up with so far. I am making this up.

My breath was a little labored when I went down for Savasana and it took me longer to settle into it. Ujjayi Pranayama with inhalation retention was good. Once again my breath felt smooth and continuous like silk. Even though I am confused by the sequence I think it was a great practice.

My eyes look rested.

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