Sunday, October 3, 2010

Week 29 - Ariana

I went to an Intro to Iyengar Yoga class at the Iyengar Institute today. I had never been there and I wanted to see how they introduce the Iyengar method. There is always something to learn. I tried to enter with a beginner's mind and let go of what I think I know about Iyengar Yoga. Nonetheless it was nice to be in this beginner's space in the context of having gone through these 29 weeks of LOY sequences. I understood the sequence in a way I would not have had it not been for those 29 weeks.

I did the week 29 sequence yesterday but did not have time to write about it afterward like I usually like to do. The practice is not as fresh in my memory. I squeezed the sequence into the day spontaneously. I found myself with 1.5 hours of free time so I did the practice then - around 4PM. Why not?

I don't think I mentioned yet that the sequence for weeks 26 - 30 is the same. I am pleased that I am not tired of this sequence. I don't like to repeat the same sequence over and over again. This is one  of the reasons (there are many) why Bikram does not appeal to me. But this sequence is complex and there is a lot for me to discover.

I wanted to focus on good old Headstand and Shoulderstand without the variations. My goal was to have 10 minutes of each pose. (Lately I have been starting my own practice this way. This is new for me. Before I did them towards the end of my practice.) I was working on my Headstand away from the wall again so it was pretty wobbly. I came down and went back up a few times. But a 10 minute Shoulderstand came (and went) easily this time.

Then I did the same standing poses as last week because I did not do the inverted variations. I really needed to come back to those-they are very grounding for me. After that I resumed the sequence with Jathara Parivartanasna.

I backed off when my left knee was bent in Janusirsasana. I was pressing the bent leg back with the heel of the foot at the groin. But this did not feel good in the outer knee so I brought the sole of the foot to the right inner thigh instead.

I put blocks under my hands for Lolasana. I came closer to lifting off but my toes stayed on the floor.

I did Paryankasana for the first time ever in an Iyengar yoga class recently. I don't remember ever doing it in any kind of yoga class. The teacher had us place a wood block at the highest height right behind the shoulderblades. This felt great. I felt like I had been cracked open. In a good way. This is how I have been practicing this pose ever since that class. I love it. Surprisingly this time my spine curled right over that block and then the top of my head lightly touched the floor. My hips pressed up away from the floor for this. I then checked the photo of this pose and Mr. Iyengar's hips stay down.

I worked on pressing up from the floor again in Chaturanga (instead of coming down from plank). I did not use the strap like last time but I used the block under my forehead. I can press up this way. I am probably putting too much weight in the forehead but it is teaching me something in my core that is for sure.

I still don't like Garudasana before Savasana. I begrudge doing this every time.

I need to re-read the instructions for Inhalation Retention. I did not do it right again.

I started to read Light on Pranayama which Iyengar wrote a few years after Light on Yoga. In the preface he says that in his recent practices a new light of inner awareness dawned on him which he had not experienced when he wrote LOY. That was in the 1970's. I can only imagine what new inner awareness has dawned on him since then. I would love to know his opinion of these sequences now and if he would change anything.

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