Monday, January 18, 2010

What I did on my day off from school

Today I had off from school. I promised my honey that I'd spend the entire day with him, so I caught the 6:24 bus to the 7 AM Mysore practice. It was much better practicing at this timeslot. The studio has skylights. When we started it was dark and lit by candles as the sun rose (after my sun salutes, perfect timing) the room started to light up, it was beautiful. Although I can 'do' almost all of these asana, thanks mostly to Jill weaving them into her vinyasa classes, it's so hard to remember the ORDER. The teacher is sweet, and I don't know how he does it. Keeping track of all the students in a class when they're all in the same asana is a lot at times; but Casey keeps track of everyone in their own place. Add to that the new people that pop in (2 brand new beginners today) which require more work (including me at my second studio practice) and you have tons going on. I'm thoroughly enjoying this learning process. I love the individuality of it, the way you can dive into your own breath. A great rule at this studio that keeps you practicing: new students cannot come to the weekend practices unless they show up on two weekdays. After the first month things loosen up, but I think it's great; and I think I'll let myself forget that the rule only applies to beginners. Now I find myself switching gears from student to teacher in the first time since leaving dear Philly. I'm teaching the yoga club class tomorrow at school. Then next Saturday morning I'm back at Yoga Space subbing. Thanks to facebook, I see the TTs are writing their class plans right along with me. Maybe I can ride that energy; I feel a little rusty with a month and a half off.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day 1 of Mysore

Tonight after class I boarded the bus and went to my first Mysore class. This really started last night as I had to pack my clothes and mat and get bus directions to/from. The hardest part of practice is showing up...and especially when you need to race out at the last word of Anatomy lecture and go USE your muscles instead of learning their names. The teacher's name is Casey. He is very sweet and explained everything wonderfully. I really like this practice of counting your breaths. I must admit that I occasionally would loose count and likely stayed in asana ~7 breaths or so instead of the prescribed 5. I learned a lot and wrote down the sequence when I got home so I could remember how to practice this. Casey recommended not coming this weekend as those are the busy days (obviously). He would like me to come in at least twice during the weeks and if I do that, then he thinks it would be okay to come in on the weekends. Anyone in Chiropractic school should do this practice! It's very soothing to move at your own pace, whatever it is at that moment. Casey gave me a written copy of the chant and it's translation to learn from. I'm heading back on Monday after class, hopefully with some of this practice cemented.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A new practice

Long days at chiropractic school, far from yoga studios and bus-bound has me re-thinking my ability to practice in a group on a regular practice like my Philly life allowed. This week had only home practices. And they were VERY necessary after sitting all day in lectures. Home practice might be the most fitting in this new life of mine as my body cries out for very specific postures. I have never really CRAVED revolved triangle or handstand, but this week I was. If I had gone to a class and NOT got what I wanted, I would have been severely disappointed. Never-the-less, studio practice builds heat and builds more of a dream for me, so it is I miss having yogi friends to hang out with, which requires more practice at a studio. This week, thanks to my financial aid check coming in I am going to start practicing Ashtanga yoga at a Mysore studio, scary but I think I need it, rhythm and breath are all I want these days. The week after next begins yoga club at school. This will be refreshing as it occurs on my longest day, the one I'm too tired to practice when I get home. Unfortunately, I think my teaching skills may have to go a little lax. School is intense. Much to do. Teaching more than occasionally may require that I sacrifice practice, and that is just NOT okay in my book; in fact it makes you a terrible teacher. Chances are I will teach at yoga club once a quarter and dive into practice. My teaching skills will likely be revived AFTER graduation for a more regular class or three. After all the bigger picture of being a teacher is leading by example. Putting practice as a priority is key. My study break today involves a restorational yoga class at my current favorite studio in Portland. Much needed after this week of swallowing a lot of information and opening up a cadaver for the first time. Trying to remember that this is only the annamayakosha and not a complete person helped immensely with that experience. And yes, fascia as it turns out, is crazy! It's everywhere, a rainbow of different colors, a wide variety of textures, and there is much more of it than you can possibly imagine. It's everything you hear about in yin and more.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Arms & Legs

I've always had funky angled joints, which Patrick found confusing when he adjusted me during TT. During my first class at The Yoga Space, Michele pointed out to me that the hyperextension that I'm expressing in my elbows in downward dog was something that could injure my shoulder joints at some point. She advised to practice having a slight bend in my arm, which actually would be 'straight'. Thinking this was wise advice, I adopted this. But this morning I noticed my knees hyperextend just standing! So I experimented with a slight bend, but then my knees don't line up over my ankles, lifting my foot arches remedied this. All of this leg action actually had me bending slightly forward, so I straightened myself out...which I really felt in my psoas. It's all connected. I practiced this new stance and a new way of walking all day. This afternoon I went to practice at The Yoga Space. Since my Tadasana is completely transformed, everything was different as you might imagine. This effect was expected in all the standing poses and in downward dog. When standing balances seemed more natural (but still super hard) I wasn't surprised. However, I never thought that re-teaching yourself to stand on your feet would help with turning yourself up-side down! I went up into forearm stand like I did it everyday, and I've never made it to the wall. When the variation to practice a scorpion was offered, I took it like I've practiced it a hundred times before. This is all crazy for me as inversions are my biggest challenge. I attribute this to two things: teaching my muscles how to support my body rather than my skeleton and perhaps with uprooting my life and dealing with many uncomfortable situations on this journey I've somehow become more comfortable with turning myself upside down. Happy 2010!