To the door of AYL

Ah it must be a Bank holiday, as we had to put up with a crap rail replacement bus into the city this morning. I was umming and aahing about where to practice on the way, but as the bus pulled up outside the IBIS Hotel on the corner of Drummond St, ie about 100m from AYL, I thought that’s a sign, then I had hardly punched in the first digit on the door when Louise came to welcome me in.

I took it really slowly, making sure I remembered Susan’s words of advice about Chaturanga, hand position, elbows in etc, its when I forget and lower down with my elbows out that my shoulder screams that sharp pain, I probably did the Surya’s and the vinyasas with more care and attention than I have done in years, not a bad thing, pain can be an effective teacher.

Standing were ok, as I have been doing them despite the injury problems. I was a bit apprehensive with seated, especially when it came time to coerce my left leg in for Janusirsasana A, I just took my time, but once settled I even managed to grab my hand beyond my foot. It didn’t seem too busy there today, so more adjustments than usual, or so it seemed, Marichyasana A and D were good from Louise and Ruth helped me in Kurmasana and Supta K. I like getting help in Baddha Konasana, but it was a bit uncomfortable today with the pressure on my bruised thigh.

Added in a few bridges before doing about 6 Urdva Dhaurasanas, each one I did seemed to be better than the last, so I figured why stop at 3 when I have the energy, inclination and motivation, last couple I tried to walk the hands in.

Got to play around with dropbacks before help arrived, Louise looks out for me now, I was halfway back when I felt the towel go round my back. It was much more about lifting the chest up before going back today, the higher the chest, the quicker I get to see my mat, walking the hands in and rocking before coming up. She is refining this, I seem to have gone from just being taken to the floor and brought back up, not doing that much of it on my own. Then the phase of moving the pelvis/thighs forward, going back and passing out! Now I lift the chest, engage the pelvis and thighs and attempt to go back with an element of my own control, then walk my hands in at the bottom, and come back up without a dizzy spell, or being completely wiped out. You think nothings happening, but when you analyze it and think back a few months, you realise quite a lot has changed.

Doing practice in a very warm shala certainly made a difference, it feels safer and to some extent easier, the body seems to have more space to work within, if not actually in its vicinity with mats just a couple of inches apart. My shoulder made it through with only a few warning twinges and my thigh wasn’t too much of a hinderance, it just needed time. I am sure it has actually done the thigh some good being stretched carefully in the warm.

Getting home was the nightmare I half expected, another replacement bus, which was supposed to turn into a real train half way back, but the train only materialised 2 hours after we left London waiting to pick up passengers at my home station, so I ended up spending 4 hours on 2 buses, virtually being taken door to door.


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