Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Goa thoughts

Through the week before the wedding, I was busy and stressed and looking forward to the return to normalcy after the spectacle was over. I kept focusing on Goa and my regular 4 practices a week plus stretches and home asana workshops with props in the evening (no, I don’t do the traditional 5 then 6 practice weeks). And as I fantasized about Goa, my escapist thinking was becoming more and more goal-oriented, as in “by the time Goa rolls around, maybe I will be able to do this…” and then worse “I want to be able to do this before I go to Goa”.

When I began yoga it was completely a physical workout. So it was natural to bring a level of achievement-oriented energy to it. Now that it has become something else for me, I am trying not to be so goal-oriented but it is difficult, I’m human!

The best I can do is be aware of it and try to rein it in as it happens. The compromise I am striking is to regard the regularity and frequency of my practice as a goal, more so than individual poses…so that I will seldom go two days without practicing and so that I will be on the mat more. And if I do that, everything else falls into place. I may not be doing Dwi Pada by January, but if my practice is regular and frequent, then I’m doing yoga.

Because I can’t help it, and because they will be the focus of posts over the next few months, here are the main challenges I face in 2nd.

Laghu Vajrasana – coming back up to kneeling
Bakasana – jumping into it
LBH – all of it, all the time
Tittibhasanas – can’t get the bind, or jump into it
Karandavasana - (Can't believe I forgot this one when I first wrote this post)
Mayurasana – I still don’t understand this one, and I say understand because I believe my body has the capacity, but I just don’t get it
Nakrasana – is “detest” too strong a word?
Backbends – I haven’t learned to drop back or stand up unassisted

There are a lot of other tweaks like the transitions between poses that I’m only still scratching the surface of and things like bringing the knee closer in Vatayanasana but I will leave that to a few years of regular practice. Those things don’t happen overnight and I’m happy to wait for them to appear as little surprises month by month. Primary was so joyful in that way! What a fun and rewarding year I had figuring it out.

So if I am lucky, perhaps ONE of these tricky asana will fall into place in the next little while, or I will learn something new in Goa that makes my brain and body click. And if not, perhaps Goa will teach me how not to be so goal-oriented.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hm.

I was taking a pic of my new haircut to send my sister and I decided to video a jumpback attempt so I could see where I am...

I realize the angle is quite bad, sorry, it was spur of the moment. I am wearing super-cozy wigwam socks and flannel jammies and I have a slick-as-hell engineered hardwood floor...all factors contributing to how much easier it feels here than on my black mat (or an Equa or yogitoes) at the studio.

So it is pretty obvious I'm still struggling, but I am actually closer than I had thought. And by closer I don't mean like 90% there, I mean like more than 20% there, which is where I thought I was. I like numbers (see profile).

I'm glad I recorded it. Seeing it (more than 20%) makes me believe J that someday, even if it is in 8 years, I will be able to do it.
video

Two things I definitely need to work on are tucking myself in quite a bit smaller, folding up my legs tighter and more into my body (maybe navasana will help? what muscle am i engaging to do this, besides MB, the hip flexor?). Second thing is learning how to edit my videos, to cut out the start and finish.

PM Mysore, AM open practice

After a hiccup yesterday morning, today was my first early-bird practice and I loved it. It was tough to get out of bed, tough to drive without the benefit of coffee and my body was stiff and unyielding from 8 hours of sleep, the recent cooler temperatures and the memory of two previous days’ practices. But it was all good. The studio was toasty warm, and a teacher from the other side of town was there and already at Laghu Vajrasana when I arrived. I enjoyed his steady energy and the fact that he had already brought considerable warmth to the room. It is so inspiring to see a dude in his sixties rocking Bakasana B. I mean how on earth can that not motivate you?

Standing to Parsvottanasana, primary to Navasana…vinyasas between poses but none between sides. Correct, straight-leg navasana is becoming easier, I never thought I would say it but there it is. It’s possible, even for me with my shortish torso and longish legs.

On to 2nd through to Dwi Pada. Backbends at 7:00am are humbling, I’ll tell you that. I thought I knew my range and my limits and I was treated to an eye-opener when dropping into Kapo. It took me three hangbacks to get the confidence to even put my hands down. And once they were down, I stayed in B, I didn’t even consider trying to bring the hands back to my toes. It was god-awful. But I loved it. And someday, with more morning practice, I’ll be able to do it. Best of all, I was free to struggle, to hesitate, to muck up a pose and try it again, and to take a few extra breaths in downdog preparing for the next asana. I would never give up Mysore completely, I still need help and adjustments, but I like the freedom of struggling and finding my way a few times a week. I think I need those opportunities.

I was conservative with my timing and vinyasas this morning, erring on the side of cutting out poses and it’s a good thing, because I ended up with a 55-minute practice and just enough time to do it all…during breakfast I checked emails and stuff too, but I don’t want to give that time up.

6:40 alarm
6:52 in the car
6:58 on the mat
7:54 in the car
8:06 in the shower
8:21 breakfast
8:35 blowdry and get dressed
8:51 walking to work
9:01 at my desk

I’d much prefer closer to a 70-minute practice….if I set the alarm for 6:30 I can probably take it to Pincha, or do full standing, squeeze in more vinyasas in primary, or do full primary and no 2nd. Lots of options. I am resistant to anything earlier than 6:30, but maybe that will change in time. I set out my clothes for yoga and work the night before and set up the coffee too. This afternoon I got my hair cut shorter than it has been in nearly 10 years, so that is going to help considerably with the blowdrying time!

Last night in Mysore J walked me through the jumpthrough. She said, “every time your feet hit the mat on the way through, you are stopping your practice”. So we did a few tries…engage MB, tuck the hip and swing through and it was thrilling to find that it worked a couple times. Usually my feet skid but I end up getting through…when she coached me, a couple of times my feet came all the way through and my butt landed softly. I kept them up through the rest of last night’s practice but was losing it toward the end due to fatigue. I used the method this morning and I am going to keep trying.

We also talked about jump-backs (dread, sigh). She said she wants me to start with the pickup, then struggling through without moving my hands (I've been doing a pickup, then moving my hands in front of me)…she said she thinks I can actually do it if I just spend some time in the struggle. I tried today…it isn’t so bad. It is awkward and it slows things down but I can see the value in it. It is probably like the toe-roll, something that used to seem impossible, but if you try it every time you can eventually do it every time…I don't know if true jumpbacks are ever going to work on this body but I will definitely keep trying.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Morning Practice?

This morning I went to the studio to practice (per website open 6:30-8:00am) but it was locked up! I arrived at 6:50 and waited outside until 7:05 but no dice...disappointed. I have been thinking about making a move toward morning practices for a while and changing my work hours to 9-6. It has the double benefit of reducing overtime since I'm going in later plus having my evenings free.

Not going to happen today. By the time I cut it off, I was glad to have some coffee and a bagel. I'll go to Mysore tonight and mention it to J, see if she's still allowing open practice in the mornings...third benefit, it isn't mysore so i can get away with no adjustments!

I thought (for a millisecond) about going to another studio nearby that I know has 6am Mysore, but I didn't have my mat. Or money.

Hopefully if work doesn't tie me down I can make it to regular Mysore tonight and post a practice diary...if not I will post some Goa thoughts.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Primary and part of 2nd

Today was my first day back to the studio after the honeymoon and I was so excited when I woke up! I was expecting some tough going, for the transitions to feel difficult and for exhaustion to set in early. But it didn’t…we did a quiet practice with no one calling out breath counts. Most of the time we were on count together, but I could tell it had relaxed a bit in that a few others were going at their own pace.

I’ve mentioned before, that I love the chaturanga-updog-downdog between standing and seated. I think it is the warmth of the body after standing and how much smoother it feels than earlier in the Suryas. Anyway, today it felt extra heavenly…

The marichyasanas were fine, they’ll be tighter again after a few more practices, I still crap out on the Bhujapidasana head-to-floor and back up bit, which hasn’t improved with stopping at navasana to go to 2nd. Today I didn’t even trust myself to lower my head. So I will work on that in the evenings a bit I think. I barely caught the bind in Supta K and brought my feet to touch but didn’t cross. My navasana was straight legs all the way (all five times!). A suitable first day back to school. I’ve had better practices but I loved how I felt (energized, not depleted) so that was enough for me.

We finished primary and remarkably (for me) I still felt fresh and able to do more. I wasn’t “wrung out” yet, as J would say. I didn’t go to close, just contemplated for a second and then J asked me if I was waiting for her to tell me what to do…I said no, I was trying to decide what I had in me to do. She said “go to Ustrasana” so I did. I wasn’t sure if I was disappointed or relieved that I wouldn’t be doing Laghu Vaj or Kapo but I didn’t want to ask for them so I decided I was relieved.

For the first time, sweat was a problem in Pashasana! I never had the problem with slippage before, but it caught me up on the left side. Right was fine. I still don’t know if I will ever get the wrist in this one, but fingers are fine for now. In hindsight I had it in me, so I probably should have gone through to Bakasana, my Ustrasana felt super open and I could tell the Kapo would have been a good one. Next Sunday perhaps.

J’s normal policy is to give dropbacks only after full 2nd. Since I will only do full 2nd once or twice a week, I’ve decided to work a little harder in urdhva dhanurasana the other days to continue this work. Walk the hands in a little more, lift a little higher, get more into the shoulders and thoracic. Straighten the legs a bit more. Today I watched (semi-longingly) as A did her backbends. So amazing!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Liberator

Months ago, on one of my favorite blogs, I happened upon a description of a tool/prop used to aid in dropping back from standing or into Kapo. It was called the Dune and basically it is a wedge-shaped mat used for tumbling drills in gymnastics. I decided that I needed to have one.

Thus began a months-long hunt for this product online, in gym equipment stores and industrial parks…I even emailed an acquaintance who works for the school board distributing gym equipment to see if he could hook me up. Turns out he is mostly into football and probably confused to no end why I needed such a thing. None of the online distributors could ship to Canada…disappointment at every turn.

Then….I saw the movie Burn After Reading, and realized there was another application (and therefore source) for the prop. So my traipsing online took a detour into Adult Furniture (yes) and I continued my hunt in sex shops throughout three provinces, online to many purveyors who would not ship to Canada and finally found a website that could help me out and promised discreet shipping to the great north. Sold!

Edit - the packaging was not as "discreet" as promised...:-)

I finally received "The Liberator", a wedge mat covered in durable black microfiber (I ordered blue, to make it less obvious, but they sent me black anyways).

Anyhoo – the point of the post is to draw attention to a couple other (yoga) uses for the liberator…I’ve been using it at the beginning of Pincha Mayurasana to get my toes up a little higher and therefore my hips/pelvis in the right place earlier in the attempt. It really made a big difference for me in my pincha mayurasana journey, and also relieved the tenderness in the pad of the bottom foot from repeated attempts at kicking up and coming back down onto one foot (I know I should do it double-footed, hopefully I can someday).

Karandavasana is a lofty goal. In all likelihood it won’t ever be possible for me, but I will still try, so I envision using the liberator to cushion my many, many falls.

H has trouble with Sirsasana and we used the Liberator to get her taking off from a higher point. She actually hung out in teddy bear stand for longer than she ever has (I don’t think it was just the liberator, she had E and I screaming supportively at her that she was “up! UP!”). I wish we’d had more time to practice together and work on it. I can totally tell from the attempts that I saw that she is so close. Like a couple hours of practice with someone beside her to debrief (too far with hips, not far enough) and she would likely nail it. I’m lucky that Sirsasana came to me so easily, I learned it as a kid.

I also use the Liberator in some of my Pre-LBH stretches and I recline on it after I get LBH and tire of holding my leg with hands and neck. I lean back onto the liberator and let gravity do some of the work while I continue the hip opening.

I adore my liberator - money well spent!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wedding, Yogis

The wedding was amazing. Cold, rainy, harsh winds and it was still beautiful…we still took photos outside too.

There were a handful of yogis at my wedding! I had the good fortune to spend a bit of time talking to an Iyengar yogi in her fifth year of certification process and she was somewhat disillusioned with the style…she has reached the point where they are doing backbends out of sirsasana and she is finding it painful and knows some other yogis who have hurt themselves. She has two young kids and wonders if it is worth it. She started in Bikram, then Ashtanga, then Iyengar. We were discussing the differences between Iyengar and Ashtanga and she said she would find it boring doing the same thing each day. If you’d asked me earlier this year I would have agreed with her. But now that I’m working on intermediate, I have plenty to keep me busy, between keeping my primary up to speed and creating some ease in intermediate (a long way to go there). I feel for her that she has come this far and is now having doubts. Any other style would take her, with her dedication!

I also caught up with a friend who brought me to my first yoga class. He is now teaching some Power Flow classes and practices Ashtanga on his own time. We had such a great time chatting and sharing our experiences. He is in a creative field of work so he craves the regularity that Ashtanga provides. He was the one who introduced me (and my friend H who is taking teacher training) to our beloved first teacher Alex. He’s based out of Orlando, hasn’t been down to Miami to see Kino MacGregor but I suggested that he go…

I also “played yoga” a bit with H, not a practice but we showed eachother what we’re working on. We spoke a lot about the divergence in our styles since the time we were roommates but I’ll go into more detail on that one later. It was so interesting, considering we came from an identical background! But something different attracted each of us to where we ended up. I thought I might be able to “sell” her on Ashtanga but she’s just as passionate about Power/Vinyasa/Flow, and she’s totally committed so I know she’ll stay there and carry on. Her updog/downdog transition is really something amazing to see…whatever she’s been doing for two years is working…she can actually slip a chaturanga/plank in there (yes, like a MAN) before sliding back to downdog. It’s unreal. Anyhow, have to save some details for my next posts 

Because of the busy-ness of the wedding and honeymoon I haven’t been blogging so I’ve been thinking up some posts that I want to write and one of them is about Goa and what it means to me and how I’ll be spending the next three months. It was interesting when I examined how I was thinking about it and what my motivations were. I probably won’t post again until the honeymoon is over so hopefully I’ll have that train of thought worked out by then.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Edgy, Wedding

I met up with a friend and took a class from my fiance's cousin this week and it was such a relief to do some yoga!! My hometown is where my practice goes to die...there's no space in my parents' home to practice (not exaggerating) and no gym nearby, and its quite cold out, plus wedding details have been keeping me busy.

BUT, what the hell kind of yoga blog writes sporadic updates on the reasons they haven't practiced in days??? it's comical...i promise, things will improve after the wedding, when i'm in Goa Prep Mode...more vids.

I arranged with the resort to have access to a gym-type room on site the day of the wedding (tomorrow), at 7am - to myself. I will do primary alone and breathe and sweat and i can't frigging wait! Meanwhile I've been enjoying seeing old friends, drinking beer, being on boats, eating my face off, sleeping minimally and in all ways imaginable setting myself up for illness, bad skin or bloating on the day of my wedding - frankly, I'm having too much fun to care. the stressy moments are becoming hilarious and it helps so much to have your best friends around for it. disasters become comical, and start to feel like minor hiccups.

i took some natural calming calming pills my aunt procured for my mom and it truly helped - E also slipped me some Ativan which resulted in my best sleep in weeks. I finally found the wherewithal to stop fretting about weather, details and guest arrangements and ask my mom how she was doing and call my mother-in-law and ask her what help she might need for her pre-wedding soiree tonight. feeling like a better person.

looking forward to the honeymoon in beautiful, rugged cape breton...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday Led, or not Led?

Sunday we did Led primary without being led. We just did the series, tried to keep on the same pace and breath count and end up in the same postures most of the time. I think that is going to take some getting used to...I find it distracting to be waiting for others to move into the next breath and posture, perhaps that is part of the challenge though...J thinks it will be a good segue into Mysore for beginners. She is probably right. Not sure about it, will give it a few more tries but I prefer Led or Mysore I think, not the hybrid. Of course I will still go though...I can't give up a Sunday practice.

The upside of this format is the flexibility after Primary, we stop being in sync...after Setu Bandhasana J told us we could either go to close, do first half of intermediate or last half intermediate. I did first half as I didn't have enough juice in me for the Tittibhasanas. It was OK, I was happy to do some backbending as I hadn't expected that when I came to class. I told J I'd be away for the wedding and back in two weeks...

So wedding week starts. After two weeks of gorgeous weather, today is frigid, blustery, overcast and raining...saturday forecast is calling for 80% chance of rain, 10mm...great. Well, a lot can change in 4 days...

Today I am without my vehicle so no practice, but I'm going to drop in to a hot yoga class tomorrow in town...looking forward to it! Wednesday and Friday I get to practice with the girls, and I am so excited!! I haven't been in a studio with H in well over 2 years....she started her teacher training this week, and she's bringing her books and materials which I am pumped to see. I can't wait to hear her impressions but I think she's going to love it.

Oh, I told J I found a sweet flight that I wanted to book and she told me to wait until after I got back and we'd do it all together in October. So hopefully the cost is close.

Today I meet with my photog, do a rehearsal and dinner. Countdown to wedded bliss continues. :-)

Oooooooooooh - my dad gave me his old tripod, so the framing qualities of my videos should improve as I've just been balancing the camera on top of blocks, books, coffee table.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Saturdabbleday, Power Vinyasa Flow, shhhhhh and video!

This morning A’s class was cancelled and I wanted an early class so I could get on with my day (lots of packing and planning to do)…I haven’t visited a non-ashtanga studio since I changed my focus earlier this year, but I felt like something different so I dropped in to an 8:30 class that I hadn’t attended in ages and I had a great time! I wouldn’t want to do it all the time or even once a week, but I learned in that environment and it is fun to return.

We did loooooooong sun salutations. Like with 5-breath warriors in the middle. It was challenging, my body isn’t used to long holds in certain poses and definitely not the on-one-leg stuff or side planks.

Sometimes the teacher (S) focuses on hip openers or backbends or inversions. Today was an inversion day so we worked on headstand. A few minutes in she got us to move to a wall and we could work on forearm balance or handstand if we wanted. I wanted! So I did some pincha’s at the wall and was happy to learn that I hadn’t lost the bit of ground I’d gained on them in my erratic last few weeks.

After I got home I was craving backbends so I did the shalabhasanas, bhekasana, dhanurasanas and then took video of Laghu Vajrasana and Kapotasana. My Laghu Vajrasana struggle is plain. My thighs need to be much straighter up, and I clearly lack the strength to return to kneeling…although if my thighs were straighter up maybe it would be a bit easier! There is something confusing to me about the proportions of this asana….I need to watch others do it I think, and see how their limbs/measurements translate it. I can probably grab my ankles lying flat in virasana…which is why I have a tough time making sense of where my hands/shoulders/ankles/thighs should be.

It is painful to watch my LV! But this is for posterity. :-)

My Kapotasana did not feel as open as it normally does during a traditional ashtanga practice but I am happy I could walk in to my toes on my own. I should have hung a bit longer maybe, might have opened a bit and landed the hands closer in. What is the norm? Do people aim to touch toes from the air?

So anyhow here it is. I’ve also added a bakasana jumpback to chaturanga, which USED to be consistent but I very much land on my chest in this one, lol. And a regular old Surya A, to demonstrate the shock absorption and my not-as-much-bandha-as-i-would-like fear I mentioned in a prior post, particularly on the jump forward. video video video video

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Primary at Mysore, trip to Goa

God I feel heavy. My hamstrings are still tight from yesterday – I could tell by the first exhale I wasn’t getting my palms to the floor throughout any of the Suryas. I noticed two others practicing intermediate and I missed it. But the more I think about it, I know I’m not ready to get back to it yet.

I did a few awkward pickup attempts, to ease them back into my practice. The marichyasanas felt great. I took the wrist in both B&C, which I hadn’t done in a while and it felt good. I got a good straightening up adjustment in B (I tend to lean, like a lot) and C felt especially nice, not pushing too hard. D was great, I’m finding that after I get around the knee, I grab the shin of the lotus leg and it feels nice!

I brought all my weapons to Navasana and I survived it. I am committed to straight legs from now on. Bandha! J didn’t even have to remind me to lift the chest. Still damn hard though.

Bhuji haunts me, I think this is really one that I should be working on at home. It doesn’t take much warm-up, and it is mostly bandha. I make it down without feet maybe 1 in 10 times. Needs to be more. The movement is so similar to a jumpback. And coming back up (cannot do) is totally prep for the arm balances in third (not that I need to think about third series any time soon).

I had a good Supta K, which I was extremely pleased about due to my low expectation (haven’t done it in over a week). I was prepared to lose the bind when I crossed my feet, purely out of hamstring and shoulder tightness but I didn’t. I am trying to work toward curving my back a little less in Supta K. Although I can generally bind and cross feet, they normally cross in front of my head (on my mat) and I have my back quite hunched.

In exciting news, the Goa trip is still on. There are apparently five of us from the PS going which makes a good crew. There is a flight for 1275 that I want to book, and E has her eye on it too. As long as I don’t travel alone I don’t care how I get there really. But I’m going…and when the wedding is over I can get back into the normal routine. Phewf.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Beginnings

By some miracle, I got out of work at 5:00 today and was able to make it to the PS for the 5:30 Ashtanga Intro class. It wasn’t my ideal return to practice, I had kind of envisioned a dynamic arse-kicking full primary or intermediate but that being said, once in a while I do love a beginner class.

Primary to Navasana, no Janu C, modified Marichyasanas (without ardha padma), stopped at Navasana with a modified closing…no sirsasana, no lotus in sarvangasana. Done.

I’m not a (primary) beginner anymore. So beginner class is a lesson in humility and following instructions. Not taking anything that isn’t offered to the whole class, not skipping ahead, following the count carefully (I find this more difficult now that I do mysore), being respectful of others’ practice spaces and paces….which means not whipping out the deepest version of the asana, but fitting in at the level offered. It’s a community experience. J gets super pissed when her regulars attend a beginner class and skip ahead or do a full expression if she offers a modification only. I don’t blame her, and I actually love complying, it truly doesn’t frustrate me at all. It would have killed me a year ago, so I hope that means the practice is working on my Type A SuperVata brain and softening me a bit. I did notice one particular beginner watching me when a couple of Sanskrit names escaped him and he wasn’t sure what to do next, so I was happy that I could help.

Normally I find myself loose and able after a short break but today I was tight, especially in my hips…I think the result of back-to-back 10K hikes over the weekend. I also felt a bit heavy in my twists, from the weight I’ve gained. The suryas and the jumpbacks (not full jumpbacks, still can't do those) felt very nice. They probably looked totally bovine. But it felt great to jump and land and swing again.

One thing I noticed about my Vinyasa after watching video is that it looks much different than it feels. I use my triceps and elbows and knees to soften the landings, so I am quiet in my forward jumps to uttanasana and back to chaturanga, but I worry I’m not using my bandha to create lightness…and that the shock-absorption effect is masking a lack of true lightness. This is one of the reasons I’m liking blogging and taking some video...as difficult as it is to watch, it is so informative.

I set the stage at work to leave on time tomorrow to attend Mysore and coming in late on Friday so I can rock primary Led in the morning. I am really looking forward to both and posting my practice diaries!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Weddings, disruption

What is it about weddings? The most joyful experience ever! Tears, whether you know the couple or not! They are amazing. And we eat a lot, we drink a lot, we sleep in, we miss our practice, we take time off work and have to catch up...and then we're several days without a practice and feeling miserable.

We drove 11 hours this weekend to attend a wedding, to drink and eat and dance our asses off. Then I worked until 8 tonight and missed my beloved Led Primary class. And I am beat, too beat to do much of anything now. Summer and weddings and vacation and catching up at work...if I were a good yogi these wouldn't interrupt my practice but the fact is that they do. So I will just do my best. :-)

And since I can't in good conscience talk about asana right now...I will talk about Ayurveda, which I am just starting to learn about. I did a couple of quizzes and I am some sort of Kapha-Vata cross. Vata in my nature and Kapha in my body? J thinks I am a Vata body but I disagree. This body is a water vessel, I just know it. But I am easily frustrated, drained and I often find that others don't work/speak/act fast enough for me. Not that I think I am the fastest, but I work with a lot of new trainees and keeping my patience is sometimes difficult (although I spare the newbies any harshness, if you've been around a while and you're still slow, you're definitely not going to feel the love). Anyhow, the descriptions of the doshes are so interesting, I'd like to learn more about it...my friend H is taking teacher training so I will likely hit her up for some details or an assessment or something when I see her at my own wedding in 2 weeks.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pincha Mayurasana in jeans

This was my most recent challenge...it took me a couple months of focus in my home practice to get myself up there. It definitely still needs work. From time to time, I can hit the right spot without touching the wall first (practicing in the center of the room and learning to fall has helped this) but so far, the below video is where I am consistently. I didn't post yesterday, b/c work kept me late and then I had to go find a pretty dress for a wedding this weekend :-)

I thought it would be a simple task, but I sometimes forget how my height makes even dress-shopping difficult. I found something though, didn't love it in the store, but was more happy with it when i got home.

Anyhow, enjoy the vid...excuse the jeans...better post to come soon about my next challenge (leg-behind-head) and how I'm approaching it. You can hear my guy laughing at something he is watching online in the background, I swear he's not laughing at me! video