Our first day of practice began at 6.30am, after a not very good nights sleep, another new bed to get used to! So after almost 2 weeks off practice with the wrist it was time to see where my practice had got to. Surya A did I leave my hamstrings at home? I have never known forward bends to be so hard, my legs are still aching, I half expected my backbends to be abysmal, but not forward bends, they are easy right? My wrist objected to the upward dogs, so I did some of them on my knees. A few adjustments in standing Trikonasana, then Prasarita C, at which point Kino came to ask about my wrist, though the standing poses don’t really put much pressure on it until UHP where you are kind of pulling against it.
Seated came after the chant at 7am, now all those vinyasas would be the test, I somehow managed to resist the urge to jump through and back, stepping instead, you see I can back off to some extent, the forward bends were incredibly hard Triang Mukha and the Janu’s, I had no length in my legs at all, a bit of a surprise this.The good part was surprisingly the Marichyasanas, in this sticky heat my knees at least decided to come out and play , very surprised to bind them all.It all threatened to go pear shaped at Bhujapidasana, crossed and lifted my feet and then my wrist said”no way”, a shot of pain had me dropping the feet back down, oh well I had done well to get that far. Supta K was a bit of a test lowering down, but once there I loved binding myself up in the sticky morning heat, I kept wondering if help would arrive, but quite glad to be left to my own devices. I did the all the vinyasas to the end of seated, but very, very carefully after the Bhuja incident.
Closing backbends were a mental trial, I must admit I was worried about pushing up with the wrist, I must have spent 10 minutes doing bridges, lifting and lowering to test the water, then I managed to gingerly push up onto my head and have a few crap attempts at Urdva Dhanurasana, well I pushed up by my arms were not straight. I decided to not even think about dropbacks today, my back needs to be bendier and my wrist needs to be able to take the landing, I can occassionally do common sense!
A surprisingly good practice in many ways, though this heat helps, its so nice to wake up not so stiff, perhaps tomorrows will be better now that the cobwebs of 2 weeks non practice have been blown out.
A seriously long brunch, it seems to just go on, much more my kind of food, Muesli, Granola, Toast, fruit juice, though a lack of proper tea, thankfully I have my own with me :-) and a few other little necessities! Susan and Kathryn are apparently now on a mission to get me to eat fruit, Susan has deduced it must be a texture thing as I drink fruit juice, but couldn’t bear to put a piece of fruit anywhere near my mouth.Kathryn also managed to coax me into the pool, not something I would normally contemplate as I can’t swim, but she kindly tested the depth, ie that my feet could touch the floor of the pool and that I wouldn’t drown as I was being put to shame by a pair of Toddlers who were happily splashing around!
The afternoon workshop was Pranayama and Bandhas, that elusive Mula Bandha thing that everyone talks about, but how many truly engage it as they fight their way into Mari D! I do love Kino’s down to earth instructions about drawing in the sit bones, then pulling together thesit bone and pubic bones to make a base, her impression of Guruji pulling the anus in, then the “No pee”, before trying to lift it up internally, in our case according to her husband its the testicles that need to feel like they are being pulled upwards internally, yes… Udiyana then seems to engage on its own I’m glad to say!
We did a lot of breathing exercise, trying to breathe in and out for 10, which is hard when you run out of air after 6, then covering the ears and listening to your own breath. I love Kino’s explanantions, its like at school when you had a teacher who made it fun and easier to learn, she’s fun and describes it in terms where you don’t need to have done teacher training or have a degree in anatomy.
In essence she said yoga should make us happy, I know it does that for me, taking me away from the samskaras she talked about of trying to leave behind old learned habit patterns that no longer serve us.
The days here just go, but they are great and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else this week, even if my wrist wishes it was. See what tomorrow brings