Good practice

The transport Gods were back on my side today, when I got to my local station it said the train was going to be 6 minutes late, boooo hisss, but actually arrived 20 seconds early, hoooray! Just shows they havn’t got a clue. I actually got to the Shala in under an hour, it would have been quicker but for the 5 minute wait between tube trains at Bank.

It was quiet when I arrived, my favourite spot was free, so rolled out my mat and off I went, though again a case of practice filling the time available, just under 2 hours again today, why am I so erratic, some practices are 85 minutes, yet today was nearly 120. It seemed to take a while to get going, though standing was slowed by Cary adjusting, advising on quite a few occassions, must have been her “pick on standing day”. Seated were slow as well, but that was because half way through my usually OK right wrist decided it didn’t like me lifting into Dwi Pada as I exited Supta Kurmasana, owwww, cue a few minutes vigerous wrist rubbing before carrying on, changing to stepping back and through vinyasas rather than jumping. Incidents like this take the momentum out of practice, though do make me focus.

As I sat wrist rubbing I suddenly noticed that the Shala had filled up, must have been 20+, good to see and a nice quiet energy.

On the train in I had read Steve’s helpful comment on a previous post about the shoulder rotation in Pasasana, I can see what he means about gaining precious length by sweeping the arm round and up instead of moving the shoulder in a forward direction. I have reasonable squatting balance now, so tried this new tactic,  Cary just watched from the side, even though my fingers felt really close she didn’t join them up, leaving me to try, but I just couldn’t do it, but she looked satisfied with my efforts.

At least Pasasana feels doable, likely to happen at some point, where as standing up from backbend still feels like the impossible. I cut down the Urdva Dhanurasanas today to 4, really trying to walk in, but not piss my wrist off, then stood and did a dropback on my own, the first one is never good, after a second more controlled one Cary was waiting to bring me back up, “Head back!” is the mantra. 2 more but both times I engaged the head too soon and getting back up was a struggle, at which point she stopped to talk about what happens when the head comes in front of the chest, how the back needs to keep the arch until the last. Cross arm half way, then a deeply assisted dropback, really intense backbend, walk in, hold, then assisted up, remembering to keep my head back.

A nice practice, far better than the one I did at home yesterday, even if it was slow.

Home after a coffee break with S. via the M&S Chocolate aisle, my Sunday treat, we don’t have M&S out here, so the temptation isnt there the rest of the week. Just as well for my Pasasana!

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11 Responses to “Good practice”

  1. lilasvb Says:

    i have hard time some days to practise alone at home but i know it is so good, thanks for publishing about yoga, its gives help

  2. globie Says:

    Thanks for reading Lila

  3. Maria Says:

    Hi kevin
    Just curious.
    when u practise @ home, how do u get the heat up?
    morning practise @ home for me is just not possible since I moved (temporarily) back home with the folks, as the room i have for yoga use is feckin freezing in the mornings, despite the central heating on full whack for an hour already.
    finding the discipline to do afternoon practise ironically difficult. but i’m getting in approx 2 per week and 1 at the shala. not enough or as much as I’d like but circumstances are the way they are…..
    anyways just checking in and seeing if u could give me any tips…

  4. Globie Says:

    Hi Maria,

    Well I agree about morning practice at home,it never happens, especially at this time of year when its dark as well as cold.

    I manage 4-5 full practices each week including the Sunday Shala one, the rest are at home. I usually practice in the evening, just finished in fact.

    I find to make home practice work its been best to do it at roughly the same time and in the same place, I usually start between 7:15-7:45pm and depending how much criminal additions I do finish between 9-9:30. I also like to have done anything that needs doing before I start, so that I don’t think about t during practice.

    The room needs to not be cold, but I think the thing with home practice is to accept that its never as good as a Shala one where the heat, energy and focus are easier to find. At home for me its about momentum, just keep going, that will usually generate the heat and don’t faff around in a posture that doesn’t seem to be working that day, just move on.

    Some poses at home like Supta Kurmasana are never great, I’m not sweaty enough and there’s too much bloody furniture in the way, but for some reason I do get better backbends at home than at the Shala.

    Although I can’t get to the Shala in the week I do have a lot of contact with some Shala friends during the week to help me find the impetus to practice home alone.

  5. Maria Says:

    Hi kevin
    thank you for that
    I’m not working at the moment (not by choice) so i’m trying to practise at lunch time – well 2-230pm kind of time, so a few hours after breakfast. there’s open fire in our sitting room so by then, with the fire and CH on, its usually warm enough. Its less about lack of focus during practise, usually if I’m on, I’m on… on the “bleeaaah” days, I do gentler stuff.
    I think its just that I dont feel like its “my space” ….. I suppose I just need to get onwith it insead of looking for excuses!!! i have had some amazing practises at home, and also for me funnily enough, i’m finding that backbends are more freer for me @ home – I think in the shala I get “stage fright” at home if I crash & burn, no-one sees me!!! Oh vanity vanity…..!
    Thanks kevin 🙂

  6. globie Says:

    Hi Maria,

    Good point about “Stage fright”, I am more self conscious at the shala, though I know its only Cary and maybe Susan who notice what i do. At home I tend to do more backbend warm ups as well, so by the time I come to do Urdva Dhanurasana and dropbacks my back is more open.

  7. Loo Says:

    it takes an HOUR to get to the shala?! egads. I am one spoiled little California yogini. Sometimes we think about moving back to New York (from whence we hail) but I think I would insist that we find a place near a shala because it’s hard enough just to practice everyday, let alone schlepping in on the subway from Brooklyn or someplace.

    Reading your blog gives me inspiration, so thank you!

  8. Globie Says:

    Hi Loo
    It’s actually about 75 minutes on a good Sunday if I include the walk to the station. I can only get to the Shala on weekends, i practice at home on weekdays. I need my shala practice and we have some great teachers.
    Thanks for reading

  9. ragdoll Says:

    Oh yes, stage fright – mine is headstand, not backbends. Ultimately though, at the studio when I’m up, I’m up, and feel more able to hold it for a while.

    At home, I practice in my bedroom, in the morning. The only thing that suffers from the furniture is the exit from bhuja pidasana, my legs can’t go as wide as they should without hitting either bed or wardrobe! I would definitely find the front room more distracting, but generally once I’m on the mat, I’m on the mat, and it’s the mat itself which defines my ‘yoga space’, whether it’s at my home, my parents, or at a hotel somewhere. I’m also having temperature troubles though, having the room warm enough for yoga leaves it too warm afterwards for getting ready for work, I end up feeling all stressed and flustered!

    I could never motivate myself to practice in the afternoon or evening. It only ever happens when I’m ill or injured, and do some gentler, stretchy stuff.

    I agree about the moving on, from poses that aren’t ‘working’. It’s so tempting at home, to have just *one* more try. I think my record is five Mari Ds on the first side . . .

    I’m another who’s very luck with the location of my classes – just 20 minutes away from home or work.

    Sorry, this comment has got a bit random! I could have summed it up by saying ‘I agree with everyone’ really.

  10. globie Says:

    Hi Rosy,

    we like random comments!

    Supta Konasana is another furniture problem pose because of the wide leg take off and landing.

    Mornings, except at the Shala have never really worked for me, late afternoon/early evening I seem to have a more open body, especially for practice at home, the house is warmer by then too.

    5 x Mari D attempts is pushing it, I usually have a couple of goes at the bum balances.

  11. Ragdoll Says:

    5 was definitely over doing it! I’d just started to get that bind, and was determined to make it. It taught me that it’s in the first few practices after getting a new pose or bind that I’m most ‘attached’ to do it! Now I’m back to accepting the rare times that my fingers just don’t make that connection.

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