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.
6:52 in the car
6:58 on the mat
7:54 in the car
8:06 in the shower
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.