Renewed love and Darby

For starters, what an amazing practice today!! The room was humid and I think we all got extremely sweaty. I took my time and counted through each breath, which made everything smooth and fluid. It draws attention to all the places I rush or dawdle. I somehow skipped four poses of standing, trikonasana to parivrtta parsvakonasana, which is a section I don’t think I’ve ever skipped before. My hands are reliably making it to the floor for prasarita padottanasana C, which is fun. Am I supposed to flip my hands the other way now? I’ve heard this a few times, but I’m going to wait for my teacher to tell me. I got an assist in utthita hasta padangustasana today, for the first time in ages. How nice! I decided to make an effort to jump back properly for every vinyasa today and it went pretty well. I certainly can’t lift up and effortlessly float through, but I think with time (lots and lots of it) it may come. I got into supta kurmasana today, almost unassisted!! All my teacher did was cross my feet and I was in the full pose myself – bound AND crossed! I was elated. I think I let out a “woo hoo!” while squeezed into that awkward posture. Pasasana was much more balanced than usual, making it possible to try to push my heels to the floor. I’m a long way off. The pain in my ribs on the left side has been fluctuating daily and today was a bad day. The section of intermediate from ustrasana through supta vajrasana was especially painful. I did kapo but didn’t push myself to get my heels. Jumping into bakasana is really improving. I get onto my arms now, but I can’t “stick the landing” as I keep saying. It’s really challenging! I had great backbends today, too. I’m getting batter at letting those upper butt muscles relax, so the pain in my SI seems to be improving. I almost got to my feet (I think) in my assisted back bend. Overall, a really great day. My head was in the right place, I felt focused, my body was playing along, the room was hot. A practice that renews my love of ashtanga.

On a whole separate note, I did two workshops with Mark Darby yesterday. I had never met him before and went into the day not even really knowing what topics were being covered. I ended up really enjoying it. It was definitely worth giving up my rest day for. We spent a lot of time with the basics: breath, breath, breath. Always a good topic and there is no end of things to learn. We also spent time on toe spreading and engaging bandhas and even down dog alignment. It was pertinent for me because of the injuries I’ve had lately and many of the issues he brought up repeatedly are things I struggle with> I often try too hard in practice, which brings tension, for example. We spent the afternoon on opposition in the body – so things like pushing into the floor instead of pulling on the toes to get deeper into a forward bend. I incorporated many of the things Darby suggested into my practice today and I will slowly work out what does/doesn’t serve me. I definitely enjoyed his suggestion to count through each breath and I’m going to try to use that from now on. Or at least try to.

Two sleeps until I leave for BC!!

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