Friday, July 15, 2011

Iyengar Course 2 Week 38 (Ariana)

Distractions reigned at first. I started some sun salutes to warm up and then stopped to put my hair up. Then to put some music on (ended up listening to Tosca - not the opera). Then to turn the mat a different way, then to get water, etc.

The music helped me settle in and focus on the practice. Theta waves of the brain. It was more up-tempo than my usual choices.  Most times I prefer no music at all.

I had time and did not have to rush through the sequence. I spent two hours on this one.

After my sun salute warmups I felt ready for the first pose - headstand. Same story for me. Slowly making my way away from the wall. It was more like wobble-asana. I blamed the mat. Then I blamed the shapes of my forearm bones. I tried different positions of the hands - fists, pinkies tucked, fingers clasped slightly separated, holding onto a block. None of it made a difference. WOBBLE-ASANA.

Shoulderstand was next but I decided against it. My neck did not feel ready for that extreme flexion. In fact I just realized that I didn't do shoulderstand at all. Oops.

I moved on to the standing poses and did them as part of a vinyasa and came into them from Down Dog. I wanted to keep moving and did not want to come into them as instructed in the book. These poses felt great. I am still watching out for my left hamstrings and the second I felt anything there I eased off of the stretch - not by maintaining a slight bend in the knee but by allowing the left sit bone to move toward the heel rather than away from it. Felt nice.

I experimented with Parvritta Parsvokonasana (Revolved Side Angle Pose) - first with the heel up then with the foot planted and turned to the side. For me, planting the foot limits the rotation of the pelvis and therefore the rotation of the trunk. When I come onto the ball of the foot I can turn my ribcage more and the pose becomes more enjoyable. I like going for the twist in this pose.

Parsvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch) - I was trying to feel where the side stretch is here. I still don't get why it's called that. It is more of an intense hamstring stretch (for all of them). In LOY Iyengar says the side of the chest is stretched intensely but I do not feel it there. I have been trying to figure this one out for a while.

Marichyasana 1 - First I did it with the bind and did not enjoy the feeling in my shoulder joints. For me to get the bind I have to medially rotate my arms a lot at the shoulder joint. The pose feels much better just by reaching my arms forward while hugging my bent knee in.

I did Simhasana 2 with my legs in half lotus. It felt surprisingly good as it increased the stretch along my inner thighs.

I made the mistake of trying full wheel at the end as the sequence suggests. My body was not ready for it. It hurt my wrists - hyperextension. This pose rarely hurts my wrists. I have two more weeks of this sequence. Hopefully I'll remember to prepare more for it next time or leave it out.

Pranayama was nice. I did it before Savasana (not what book says to do). Uddiyana was particularly cool. When I contracted my abs at the end of my exhale - I was more focused on my transverse abs and rectus abdominis -  I felt a nice combo of groundedness from pelvis down while buoyant and light from chest up. A few times I easily held the breath out for what felt like a long time while feeling supported and relaxed at the same time.

For Savasana I played the incantation from Deva Pramal's Moola Mantra. ahhh.

When I was done I had an appetite. Luckily my daughter left a couple mini pickles on the table from her snack. ;)