Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 1 of Iyengar's Short 3-Day Course

It's good to be back. What can I say, suddenly I could not find the time. My daughter turned 4, there were family visits, anatomy workshops and more opportunities to teach some yoga. All good things.

After the 30th week Mr. Iyengar offers a three day course which benefits the body and harmonizes the mind. The first major difference with these courses is that the poses are all timed.  I did not enjoy timing the poses. On the one hand I felt that if I sustained the duration I might be getting the maximum benefit from the pose. On the other hand I watched the clock too closely. I don't want my focus to be on timing. I prefer to be present to sensations while in the poses.

The sequence is relatively short and simple. There are only 16 poses in the sequence, followed by Savasana, then Nadi Sodhana Pranayama with 6 Uddiyanas and then the second Savasna. Yes, there are 2 Savasanas.

I warmed up with my handstand practice because I am working on that on a daily basis anyway. Sometimes I get up. Sometimes I don't. So far I can only kick up with the left. When I kick up with the right my hips swing over to the left and my kicking leg turns out. I did not get up today. Not enough umph in the kick-off to get to the wall. Actually I did get both legs up, I just did not stay there.

The first pose in this sequence is a 10 minute headstand, but that did not happen. I felt heavy on my head so I cut it short.

1 minute of Navasana- After 30 seconds of Navasana my core started to shake. This is good for building strength so I did not mind it. Ardha Navasana was much harder to hold for 30 seconds.  I was ready to be done after 20.

Oddly, I loved the 1-minute Adho Mukha Savasana. The longest I have ever held it was 5 minutes. This one-minute AMS flew by. One of my teachers explained how after Mary Dunn held it for 50 minutes her one piece of advice was to continue to press the thighs back.

I like Nadi Sodhana Pranayama practice. It is one of my favorites because it balances the breath and I always feel centered after wards. It balances the energetic pathways that spiral and run adjacent to the Susumna Nadi. Then the Uddiyanas direct the balanced energy straight up the Susumna Nadi. At least that is what I experienced. Some sensation or force came right up to my third eye and softly expanded there. After 4 Uddiyanas I just wanted to meditate in that space. And then I felt tired. The second Savasana was needed.

I am aware of how my practice changes as the weather gets colder. My practice becomes more about conservation and preservation rather than growth or progression (as in the Spring and Summer). I don't go to my edge. I am gathering for the winter I guess.

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