Thursday, March 31, 2011

Iyengar Course 2 Week 33 (Ariana)

I have heard yoga described as an art form. I think part of what makes it an art for me is knowing when to push and when to back off - negotiating that delicate balance of ease and effort. I was focused on that throughout the practice. Easing off at the sign of any discomfort and exerting enough effort to skillfully sustain the pose.

This was the same sequence as last week but I hardly recognized it. It did not feel the same at all. It was another grey and rainy day but the forward bends were not as soothing as last time. They felt more out of place especially when a backbend preceded them.

No variations in Headstand or Shoulderstand-just the basic versions. My teacher (Jason Brown) recently told me that I would benefit from using a strap in shoulderstand to bring my shoulderblades closer together to support the back more instead of over using my supraspinatous muscles. At least I think that is what he said - we finished learning all 206 bones and the joints but haven't really started learning about the muscles. (correction - it was the erector spinae muscles). So I used the strap today and stayed in a steady Shoulderstand for a few. My Headstand was wobbly today but it felt light - strange combination. I came up so quickly in Headstand today that I surprised myself.

I threw some standing poses into the mix (Parsvakonasana, Trikonasana and Vira 1) to work the legs a little before all the floor work.

Ugh tried Chakrasana again and I cannot do it without rolling to the side. I decided that this is probably not good for my neck so I am not going to do that anymore. I still liked Navasana before Ustrasana. But I was not ready to then come into Virasana. JanuSirsasana felt downright cranky after Supta Virasana. Next time I will finesse that transition a little more. I was not quite ready for that forward bend. I used a strap for Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottansana and propped myself up on several blankets for Triang Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana which felt fine and good. Krouchasana was not so pleasant. I tend to lean back too much and too much to the side of the extended leg. I use a strap for this but I do not stay in this pose for very long.

I used my trusty figure 8 strap configuration for Lotus/Half Lotus. I put my hands through my legs for Kukkutasana and I imagined what kind of strength it would take but did not even try to lift up. I leaned back for Garbha Pindasana without putting my arms through. These were brief experiments that I probably will not replicate.

By mistake I did Parsva Dhanurasana when I should have done Akarna Dhanurasana (Archers Pose). When I looked at the picture I was stunned by how much his bottom foot is dorsiflexed. I think this is way beyond the typical range of motion. I barely noticed that his other foot was by his ear. I am well on my way to becoming an anatomy nerd and I love it!

Looking ahead to week 36 - I am pleased to see more standing poses. Guess I am kind of done with this sequence.

1 comment:

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