Keeping the ego in check

I had a lovely weekend with two actual days off; unheard of! My husband and I went to visit family and friends out of town, so I was at another shala for Sunday practice. To say that I love practicing at AYCT would be an understatement. It’s a magical combination of factors that that just seem to bring out the very best. It’s hot and steamy, a bit dim, there are lots of observant assistants, my sister in law is always in the room with me, I’m surrounded by dedicated practitioners, and it’s always busy. I had my best practice for ages yesterday. My sister in law and I had spent the evening before playing around and I even did kapo (although I got freaked out and came out immediately), so maybe that contributed to my body being so open. My hands easily went to the floor in prasarita C, utthita hasta padangusthasana was light and balanced, my hips felt pretty open, and I bound everything with ease. I even got an assist into supta kurmasana with my hands clasped and feet crossed behind my head for once! I thought about “cheating” and doing kapo, but I was a little weak and shaky (needing some food) so I went straight to back bends. I got my legs into lotus for every pose and my headstand was fairly steady for once. All in all, a focused and flowing practice. I was elated afterwards.

Back home last night, so back at AYO this morning. I was working with a whole different body in a totally different environment. In case my ego got out of hand yesterday, it definitely got a reality check. The weather has been warm the last week or so, but today it is down below zero again. I felt it. I was stiff and slow and heavy. I had a tougher time quieting the mental chatter today with the extreme difference I felt in many poses, but I suppose that’s part of the process. I got an assist in supta kurmasana, but there was no way I could get hands bound and feet crossed at the same time. My hips were tight, my knees were sore. Every half-lotus was a challenge. I had held a little flicker of hope that I might get kapo today, but I was glad I didn’t in the end. Back bends were the only good part of practice. I felt steady, stable and controlled. I stuck the stand up all but one of the 5 or 6 times I did drop backs. My assisted back bend was good, I kept my heels grounding and was solid on the way back up. I did no inverting (ladies holiday, or just inversion holiday), so I closed quickly and took a long savasana.

I didn’t get too fussed about the less than stellar asana performance this morning. I did my best and I got through it. I’ll just hope for a more cooperative day with my body tomorrow.

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