David’s visit and always more to work on

It has been a satisfying and eventful past week of practice at AYO. For starters, the magical David Robson was here for a week long primary series intensive, which I wasn’t able to participate in (work interfering with yoga, again!). Mysore practice was opened up for drop-in participants for two of his mornings though, so I was able to get a chance to practice with him. I was still sick and struggling to get enough oxygen, so perhaps the timing could have been better, but I still feel I had a couple of good take-aways from my time with him. The main thing is my tendency to lift my heels in drop backs, both going back and coming up. I have attributed this to my tight psoas, but David said my pelvis is coming forward enough that I shouldn’t need to do it. The issue is actually that I’m not using my legs strongly enough. This is going to be a very tough habit to break. I’ve been trying to keep the heels down since last Sunday and I have yet to manage it, although I think it might be improving slightly. He had me come up to standing by just coming onto the finger tips and then straightening the legs. It has helped my stability for sure. David gave me a break on ankle grabbing on Sunday, but Wednesday we did it and it was intense. My back muscles objected afterward and I felt a bit fragile. I love that he keeps the windows closed and the room heated. Having a chilly practice space is the worst, so for me the warmer the better. I also really appreciate that David pushes students. He expects you to try to do the full expression of everything, only modifying if actually necessary. He tells me to do something, presumably because he believes me capable, and therefore I believe I can do it and viola! I do (even if it’s not on the first try). It points out to me places in the practice (garbha pindasana!!) where I am being lazy or modifying unecessarily. I got supta kurmasana a couple of times last week with no assistance, just adjustment and deepening once I was in it. David had me do it twice on Wednesday. His way of moving all your leg flesh to get you deeper into the pose is so helpful, I wish everyone had the confidence to give such a strong assist. No dice today, though. It was wonderful having a Friday moon day, although I worked overnight on Thursday so there was no sleeping in for me. I enjoy the two consecutive days of rest, and no led primary doesn’t hurt either.  😉

I’ve started running again as of last week. I just went out three times for 5km each, but I was impressed that yoga has maintained such good cardiovascular fitness. My already problematic hips are complaining though, and I think that the adjustment period is going to be tough for my practice.My goal is to run 10km by November, which I think is totally do-able and not such a long distance that I am doing damage to my body. I’m excited about it!

Today I was exhausted, but managed to drag myself out the door and onto my bike. It was a pretty pleasant morning, and I wasn’t as stiff as I had anticipated. I took my time, so I was about two hours, which was ok for a Sunday when there’s nowhere else to be. I pulled something in the front of my shoulder jumping through (of all things to injure yourself doing), so I was jumping back but stepping forward for most of practice. My right knee is still twinging as well, so no ardha baddha padmottanasana on that side, but the rest of the lotus postures I just did slowly. Will I get eka pada this week? If that motivation is what it takes to get my ass to practice six days this week, then that’s fine with me. I’ve been much for of a five day gal this summer and I want to get back to six.

I have a massage scheduled for tomorrow, which I fully expect to be painful but helpful. I’m almost healthy again and I’m looking forward to a good week ahead. Starting next weekend I’ll be practicing with David Swenson again!

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