Forced to the darkside to practice

I would normally follow the plan and take the Moon day for rest, especially at this time as my recovery stalls. But ASLEF have taken it into their heads to not work on Sundays which means no Sunday trains into or out of the city, £400 for an 8 hour shift is clearly not incentive enough, which shows how overpaid they are.

So if I wanted my precious weekly Shala practice it would have to be a Saturday and a Moon day, a visit to the darkside! TLC at least gives me this option and the teachers there are great. I love the heat and energy in the small Loft studio looking out over the Notting Hill rooftops at least until the windows steam up and I have to bring my drishte back to the mat. A good practice today, with Philipa teaching. Standing seem to have pretty much returned, P giving me the strongest PPC assist since the surgery. UHP was the only other intervention until seated.

By the time I got to seated the Shala had filled up, I was going slow, in a futile attempt at energy preservation, people who started 15 minutes after me had overtaken me, not that it matters. P asked if I had done Purvottanasana, I replied for about 2 breaths! A nice assist in Mari B and found that for the first time in 2 months I could bind both sides of Mari D, yay. Bhuja faff, before a super Supta K, P encouraging me to exit into Dwi Pada, she always does it and I love trying, even though I can’t really do it. P moved to help the yogini next to me who did Dwi Pada with ease and exited with a grace and control that I never expect to reach. At this point energy deficit struck, the vinyasa collapsed in upward dog, and I suddenly realised sweat was pouring in rivers down my face, even more than with Kino last weekend.

Pasasana assisted into binds on both sides, Tania’s entry method seems to be helping, I had tried on my own before help arrived, then from a more traditional squat P had no trouble binding me and getting my feet flat.

Closing, back to doing UD against the wall, then one on the mat, it just takes so much effort to push up, being knackered by this point and having upper arms that have so much strength to regain its unfortunate that it comes at a point in practice when I’m struggling to reach the end. Oh well play hang backs instead, trying to remember Kino’s advice, engaging the legs, tailbone under, not bad, then P comes along with a strap to do proper assisted ones, she has me do 4 or was it 5. The control is coming back, the upper back is quite open, just frustrating that I can’t land on my own or walk the hands in once down. As P said it’s only been 6 weeks since surgery. Accepting that backbends are not possible without assistance just now has made me focus on the rest of my practice, I have found that although the Autopilot Bandha switch still won’t work, I do remember more often to try and turn Mula and Udiyana “On”, I can feel the difference, especially in poses like UHP and seated forward bends. Thanks to Kino for last weekends Bandha explanations and Vinyasas that may have left me shattered, but at least are making me be more attentive to things other than the actual physical asana.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the awful Saturday night when the Hostel wouldn’t let me in because I didn’t have photo ID, and having to pay over the top for a bed near AYL. As you can imagine I complained, threatening them with hell and damnation, not to mention the small claims court and a lot of bad publicity. Guess what? Well Friday afternoon I get an email from the booking companies customer service Director at their HQ in the Netherlands offering to pay for the Hotel 🙂 complaining works, bad service needs to be shown up.



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