Sunday, January 23, 2011

Iyengar Course 2 Week 31 (Ariana)

I was all set to knock this one out this morning. I started with the headstand and I was feeling great. My headstand was feeling light and I was balancing well away from the wall. Then a few minutes into it my left shoulder started to hurt. I came down right away.

I stretched it out and it was still achy so I decided not to continue this sequence and put it on hold. Funny, because I was talking to my teacher, Jason Brown about this project the other day and he told me not to hurt myself.  I always try to be careful and not push myself into positions that compromise my body, but something went wrong today. It is hard to admit that.

I was not looking forward to this sequence anyway. I studied the poses before I started and realized that most of them are not part of my practice. I will have to start substituting most of the poses and modifying them from now on. I will look into the "why" behind the poses rather than the poses themselves when determining the alternatives. The "why" instead of the "what".

I am bummed and it hurts to laterally flex my neck to the left. I will resume this sequence when I feel better. Lesson learned. Warm up a little before doing headstand first thing in the morning.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day 3 of Iyengar's Short 3-day Course (Ariana)

I am better. Yay, back to normal. I feel like my body has changed in the past few weeks from being sick and then the holidays. I was not very active and a result I feel lumpy. Plus it is cold and that just makes me want to hibernate.

Nonetheless, here I am coming back to my asana practice and back to LOY. I had my first anatomy class with Jason Brown last week and already find myself thinking about the poses differently. Thinking about the anatomical terms for the movements. What is moving where and how. I am excited to see how this (6-month - yikes!) course will change my perspective.

I think my left  IT band and hamstring are tight and it is causing regular achiness. This might be affecting my right sacral joint. I felt some pain there today while in triangle. I realize I keep thinking that the practice of yoga will protect me from injury, but I am waking up to the fact that that is not accurate. I heard that Beth Israel did a study and found that 1 in 5 emergencies are the result of yoga injuries. This is a major problem for the yoga industry considering how many people are practicing yoga and how teachers are not required to have extensive anatomy knowledge. So I am trying to be extra careful in my own practice as well as my teaching.

As for this sequence, it was exciting for me to come back to it after so long, but I was almost dreading some of the poses. For instance, Parivrita Parsvokonasana, Warrior 3, the whole Padmasana sequence, and Lolasana. As usual for the Padmasana stuff I did variations that are safe for me - half lotus or ankle to knee. As for the other poses I guess I have an aversion to them because they are more challenging for me.

I really enjoyed most of the standing poses and tried to stay in them for the time that Iyengar suggests. Sometimes I felt like I could have stayed longer, others I didn't want to stick around at all. For the most part I enjoy holding the poses even though I don't think of it as holding. I think of it as exploring the pose with the breath. When I do that subtle moves and changes happen and it feels like and exploration and discovery every time. That was most pronounced today in Triangle and Parsvokonasana. My chest kept opening up to the ceiling and my head moved back. It is a wonder I did not fall backward. I went to Tzahi Moskovitz's Iyengar style class on Monday and he had us focus on the chest opening up to the ceiling in Triangle, Parsvokonasana and Parvrita Janusirsasana. The remnants of that practice were most likely still lingering in this one.

At the end I did Nadi Sodhana Pranayama. Iyengar offers the option of that or Ujjayi. I find Nadi Sodhana to be very balancing so I went with that today. By the end I enjoyed this practice and may decide to return to it down the road.

I am looking forward to Course II, Week 31! woohoo