Archive for June, 2012

Practice, Concerts & workshop

June 29, 2012

Since Sundays transport debacle, where the train never turned up after waiting over an hour in the rain and cold I never actually made it to the Shala and had to practice at home instead, I have managed 3 mornings in a row before work, managing to do a full practice , play with Pasasana and stand up from half a block.


Thursday I had a rest day, being the 7th in my sequence and also after a very late Wednesday night, which was a great night at Alanis Morissette’s London concert. Her final song on the second curtain call being “Thank you india”.


I had thought about restarting on Friday morning but I didn’t wake up, but no rest for the wicked as I did a 2 hour backbend workshop at Shiny HQ with EG in the evening. In may have been about the back, but it was a killer on the legs, inward rotations of the thighs with blocks between the legs, toes in, heals out etc etc. A belt round the arms while holding a block against the wall to open the upper back and shoulders, her aim to teach us to stay out of the lower back when doing backbends, to lengthen and use the whole spine and engage the right bit of the legs at the right time.Core strength is needed to lift the hips from an internal muscle. Our IT bands being tight meaning it’s harder to engage the internal abductor muscles. We need to turn off the IT band in order to turn on the inner thighs and drop the tail bone down. The workshop ended with us laying over thickly rolled up mats as she went round pulling our arms back and stretching us out. It all makes sense and our lower backs did nothing, which was the point, I just hope I can remember some of it next time I practice .


Pasasana experiment

June 23, 2012


Some people find Pasasana a breeze, but some of us are still trying to grow our arms longer so the fingers can join up. Of course it’s not about sticking your fingers in Miracle Grow, but about rotation in the torso and shoulders. Our man in Thailand is also working on Pasasana and kindly emailed me this link to a You Tube tutorial on using the wall to open the upper body in the twist and to help try and get the heals down.

As I went to the local Shala, which was quiet this morning, when Pasasana time came round I decided to try the wall out first before doing the posture. Results, the first side was still finger touch, but the second side was a much stronger bind and although the heals didn’t touch down, they were going down, so I think it’s worth persisting with, though probably not at a more traditional Shala.

I found the half thickness block in the Shala’s toy cupboard, 3, 2, 1, then drop back and up from the half block, a 12mm block, 12mm between me and the floor, why is that mentally so far away still?


June 22, 2012

Since last weekends 2 Shala practices I have had an 80% success rate of getting out of bed and on my mat in the mornings, so I can watch the Euro’s in the evening. Tuesday was Moon day anyway and Thursday, well I barely woke up in time to have a shower and shovel breakfast down before going to work. It was much easier waking up and getting up the previous week with the morning sunshine, compared to this weeks wet,dark and cold mornings.

I haven’t repeated the freak springy stand up from the other day, but at least I am coming up from one Block again without too much problem, the floor is next, but when, perhaps on Saturday at the local Shala, where they have a half depth block, which proves its something other than physicality stopping me coming up, I am virtually on the floor, but not quite.

Now the Euro’s are coming to a close, do I revert back to evenings or try and carry on with this morning lark?

Springy new phenomenon

June 18, 2012

So another week of the Euro’s means another week of early morning practice. It’s no easier in week 2 to crawl out from under the Duvet and get on to the mat. But somehow I made it again and by 7am I was doing backbends, drop backs at ten past seven on a Monday morning, WTF.

So after 3 regular drop backs I started on the Blocks and standing up game, up from one, so I’m back to where I was pre Easter back injury. The second time I started to drop back to one block the strange phenomenon happened, I was about three quarters of the way back, touching distance of the block when suddenly and quite involuntarily I shot back up like a spring had suddenly been released,pitching me forward and up. Luckily the bed stopped me going too far, if it happened at AYL I would have clobbered the wall and at YP I would have shot through the window down one floor on to BG Road! I couldn’t work out if I was going to land on my head or knees.

It will be interesting to see if it happens again. Apparently other people have experienced this in backbend and when trying to grab their legs straight from backbend. Hopefully it means something good.

Moon day tomorrow though.

Sweaty,bendy practice

June 17, 2012


Two Shala practices this weekend, first one in the warm local Shala where I can indulge my backbend, drop back and stand up experiments thanks to the well stocked toy cupboard. Up nicely from one block, just still can’t get back over the mental block of another inch to the floor. It’s nice to be able to play and work my way down.

Sunday I got to the “Oven” that is AYL, very late thanks to the abysmal train company. This forced me to have a focussed, no faff practice in an hour and three quarters. Despite arriving an hour later than usual my preferred spot was free and the Shala was so hot condensation was running down the Walls and steam was rising off everyone.

That’s how I like it, hot and the sun streaming in, nice assist in Parsvakonasana B and the usual PPC and Utita Hasta. I realised how hot it was when I went forward in Ardha Badha Padmot and a river of sweat poured on to my mat. Seated Success in AB Paschimot second side when I actually managed to keep hold of my big toe, the first side is easy, but I have had to fight for every millimetre on the second side, my left shoulder being much tighter. I knew I had lost the Supta K race to Louise, I was in Kurmasana and saw her pink toes! Nose to floor assist in Baddha Konasana. A careful Setu B before finger touch only today in Pasasana, weird why some things won’t happen despite pretty perfect conditions.

Time was getting on by the time I got to backbends, no faff Urdva Dhanurasana before only getting in a couple of drop backs before Louise arrived to do assisted. No objections from my back at all today, even being deeply assisted, Louise has me come straight back up now, she says again I can do it, it’s just a mental block somewhere, fear….


June 14, 2012

No not that miracle, though I am back to being able to stand up from one Block. No, after the two Shala practices in the city at the weekend, I have managed to wake up just after 5:30am for the last 4 days and do practice before Breakfast, now that is a bloody miracle, especially as I didn’t set the alarm, figuring if I wake up I do, if I don’t I won’t.

Monday and Thursday were hard going, Monday because it was the first time I have practised that early since Mysore and Thursday because I just didn’t have the focus or flexibility. I peaked on Wednesday, day 5, my third early morning, even managing to grab my foot for a couple of fleeting breaths on the second side of Ardha Badha P.

Some postures like the Marichyasanas , Supta K and Pasasana have been much harder, despite an empty stomach, but some that require strength like Urdva Dhanurasana and Uth Plutihi have felt easier. As I say I peaked on Wednesday when my legs at last came back to the drop back party and I managed to fly straight back up from one Block, having worked my way down from 3.

So Friday is day 7 for me, rest day and home to watch the Euro’s as I have done every evening knowing practice was already done. I plan to start the process again on Saturday at the local Shala and AYL on Sunday, train permitting, then we will see if a second week is possible.

I could really do with a Siesta some afternoons though.

Mysore idiosyncrasies

June 10, 2012

Double Shala practice this weekend, in the Loft at TLC on Saturday morning along with just three others, so lots of help from the start. My fingers actually made contact with my toes on the second side of the seated Ardha Badha P 🙂 P squashed me flat so they couldn’t escape. Her usual trademark Dwi Pada Supta K exit assist.

The idiosyncrasy came at the end of Primary as I was setting up to do Setu Bandasana, P said SB is a preparatory posture for the closing back bends and that when she was in Mysore if you were doing second series, even just my one pose Pasasana, then it was omitted. It’s the first time she has told me and as my neck isn’t a fan of Setu B I wasn’t too bothered about missing it out.

Helped to bind the first side of Pasasana, I can nearly always do the second side on my own, so just a tweak to make it a better bind.

I like that P let’s us all play in back bends, playing UD against the wall etc before doing 4 real Urdva Dhanurasanas, then some drop backs before she went for the record of 10 assisted drop and ups!

Sunday I didn’t get to AYL until 8:45 thanks to the truly abysmal train company who failed miserably during last weeks Jubilee and will probably end up in melt down when the Olympics start!

Warm sunny Sunday morning outside meant a truly hot sweaty practice inside, really how I like it. Saturday’s very assisted practice resulted in everything being much more open to start with and in that heat the whole process is much easier, less thinking, more flowing. Much less assistance until Paschimottanasana , then realigned by Emma in Tiriang Mukha and by L in Mari A, then I just lost the Supta K race to Louise, feels like a freebie when I get put in to it 🙂 Louise made me jump when she arrived for Baddha Konasana . No omission of Setu B today, it was part of the program when today’s teacher was in Mysore.

Another 4 UD’s then I got in 3 drop backs on my own before Louise arrived for just the 5 assisted drop backs, back to her doing virtually nothing to get me up. She says I have the strength and the depth of bend, there is just a connection missing to come up alone again. At least my lower back, touch wood, seems ok with doing the backbends again.

Two good practices in 2 days, though now the Euro’s are on every night, unless a miracle occurs and I manage to wake up and practice in the morning, practice could be taking a back seat!

Crack of Dawn Mysore at Shiny HQ

June 4, 2012


Being Moon day a dearth of Shala’s open today, but I couldn’t miss the chance to practice and get assistance when I can, this meant getting up in the dark, i have not done that since the last practice in Mysore and getting the very early train to get to the Shiny Shala for just after 6am, no holiday late start there. Unlike Mysore it was freezing cold and chucking it down too.

Lots of criminal Ashtangi’s getting in their bank holiday practice, a nice steady plod through standing, just assisted in Trikonasana and Prasarita C. Left alone until Supta K, I was already in Kurmasana when E told me to wait, once I was bound I didn’t realise she had left me balanced on a block, I thought she was still lifting my feet, I had no idea she had gone off, so I waited for the lift to exit, eventually I decided to just lift on my own and realised she had left me balanced!

I managed to bind myself in Pasasana, though assisted by a block under my Heals 🙂

Eileen came to assist in Urdva Dhanurasana, straightening my hands and feet before getting me to try the ones against a wall, pushing the chest back between the hands. All is coming, as they say, as I managed to drop back and stand up from one block, the floor is coming back in to sight.

Reminded by posters advertising her London workshop that it’s only 8 weeks until I get to practice with Dena in Berlin.