Sunday, May 1, 2011

Iyengar Course 2 Week 35 (Ariana)

As expected I am happy to be finishing this sequence. Week 35 has arrived.

Throughout the poses I backed off of effort - not pushing myself but pausing and reflecting on how things felt today. I also spent more time in poses because I was trying to understand what muscles were stretching and which ones were working or contracting. Fun stuff. I almost pulled out my muscular system manual by Joseph Muscolino to help me figure out exactly what I was stretching while in Badakonasana. I stayed in the pose instead.

My dog was antsy, whining, following me around and giving me creepy looks most of the time. While I was in headstand he came over to lie down in front of me and just stared at me. It was weird looking into my dog's eyes while I was upside down. Now he wants to go outside so I better get this done.

I did the sequence in the morning and warmed up with some Sun Salutations (A and B) before I started. Headstand was pretty good away from the wall. Not great - a little shaky. I always do the pose within a leg's length of the wall just in case I need it. I put my toes on the wall to help with balance a few times.  No variations. I did not feel warmed up or steady enough for variations.

Shoulderstand - no variations here either. I am still working with the strap trying to keep my shoulderblades on the back and reaching towards each other. I have a lot of flexibility in my shoulderblades so that is very hard for me. But supporting the back with my shoulderblades instead of overusing my back muscles (erector spinae) helps me a lot. So I am enjoying that work.


My left leg is better. My hamstring and quads felt super tight and overworked all the time. I went to Mark Taylor in Pittsburgh PA a few weeks ago for a private session. He helped me figure out what was going on. One issue is that I hyperextend my knees when I stand and when I do a lot of poses. When I was in the seated forward bends I started to feel that -especially when I sit up on blankets or blocks. So I put a low block under my extended knee in all of the forward bends and it was such a relief. I rolled up a blanket a little bit and put it under my knees for Paschimottanasana and wow what a difference there. I am also working on getting more of an anterior tilt in my pelvis in the poses so I am not over doing it in the spine - especially where the lumbar spine meets the sacrum. This is helping me a lot too. I felt some progress - by progress I mean relief - in those poses today. This is where the easing off on the poses came into play. I no longer had to work so hard.

I skipped my usuals (Chakrasana, Full Lotus, Kukkutasana, Garbha Pindasana) and did replacements for some.

Janu Sirsana still did not feel right after Supta Virasana. Instead I did Down Dog and Prasarita Padottasana with a twist.

Savasana - my mind was very active. I was thinking about all things I want to do today and could not stop. Usually when I become aware that that is happening, my thoughts settle and I can take a step back. Not today. OK. Time to take out the dog.

Namaste

1 comment:

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