Friday, February 19, 2010

Goa Recap #7 - final

Nadi Shodhana - alternate nostril breathing, the right side is heating, the left side is cooling. If you are plugged in one, your body temperature will reflect it. Also apparently putting your fist under the opposite armpit will help to clear it. I was clogged on the same side every day we did this but I can't remember which side now (am a bit clogged in both today - there is my gross update).

Today we talked about home practice. Nancy said she herself enjoys her home practice and that many people "figure things out" at home that they may not in the studio so it is important to try it. That is true for me, personally, and I know it is for many. We discussed modifications for postures at home that we usually need adjustments for. Supta Vajrasana, she said a heavy piece of furniture will do - try to bind yourself, but OK to use a strap if you can't do so yet. I finally got the guts up to ask a question and it was the dreaded karandavasana. If you normally take the adjustment, how should you practice at home? She asked me if I could get into lotus up there (no) so she said to work on that, but that it was important to learn to fall safely so that I wouldn't have fear. She was really kind and basically said just get up there and do your best :-)

V asked about the difference between tucking the tail or sticking out the butt (for lack of a better description!) in backbends and the answer was that it depends on the body but for most the tuck is most appropriate. Same with the feet. She demonstrated the foot position she learned to drop back and come up in and it was wide-legged with toes pointed slightly out. Different feet and hips for different people. I loved this. She did stress that lifting the heels is not good - the importance of grounding.

Saturday as a traditional rest day? Nancy is pretty sure that Saturday was chosen by Guruji's family as it was the best or most convenient day to have together. She didn't think it was overly important which day you take rest as long as it is one day a week. I also love this as Saturday I don't work and it is easy to practice. Moon days and ladies holidays are non-negotiable in her mind though. I must confess to observing neither of these (aside from the occasional unbearable LH when I welcome it).

Last week of practices: I did intermediate every day. Sadly, my back did not recover for about 3 weeks so I was unable to drop back or come up, or have a comfortable Kapo in my remaining time there (I made do with crummy, crappy ones - no skipping). I did, however, have zero complication and got plenty of great advice on the non-backbending areas of my practice and I enjoyed every moment. The "pushing out" with the elbows in Pincha has stayed with me, and I shared it with a pal at my home studio this week - she was also thrilled. I have just started dropping back again this week and am glad to have it back.

A few interesting things happening in my practice and I will share them in another post now that the Goa chapter is closed :-)

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