Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pose checkin One third of the way through

Pranayama - fine. working on contracting the thighs throughout and sucking the stomach in. I can at least do these things both most of the time.

Half Moon - I don't feel I have that much more lateral flexion in the spine (thanks Dr. T) but what I have is regular. Backbending - I had my nice deep backbend for a little while and it's gone way away. padahastasana - I don't feel I'm making progress in this pose, but I'm also not really pushing it too much. I haven't been strong enough through the entire class to push the warm up yet.

Awkward- AWKWARD! this pose is one of my most hated moments of every class. the first part at least I'm able to do wtihout getting too tired. The second part I have marked improvement in since training started. I came with a foot injury that this pose was very painful. Now I'm doing it and going down as far as the barstool (some days farther) without pain. third part - have pain in my left knee when I go down and frequently I fall out. I still suck at coming back up in this pose at the end, no chance of having my spine straight.

Eagle - patiently, I have almost got one of my feet behind the calf muscle all the way (second side!) This is exciting. Also this week with Emmy here I started to not just interlace the fingers but extend them palms together. I don't have the palms together yet, but I'm trying. I'd say there's a 1-2inch differential depending on the day between the palms. And when I'm tired to start, I fall out. That's pretty much true of everything.

Balancing series -
Head to knee - have marked improvement. From someone who could hardly stand on my left foot when I arrived, this morning, Saturday, I kicked out and held it on both sides. for how long? Maybe ten seconds to be honest. I don't have very good balance on one foot. I have tiny, narrow feet. Still, improvement.

Standing Bow - thanks to Emmy, I work on bringing my kicking hip down in the bow, and don't go forward till I feel the kicking back leg pull my arm back. At that point I try to bring everything down. I can bring it down but I have never held it for more than five seconds. I really hope this improves. I do feel stronger in the pose.

balancing stick - when I'm on, I'm on. I know my alignment is awesome in this pose. it's a matter of stamina. Sometimes I have it, sometimes I'm sitting for one set to try to survive the standing series and do some triangles. Sometimes I hold the full pose for the full time. Finally, one pose I can say that about! I had a good balancing stick before I left. I really work on charging forward.

Sep. leg stretching - I havent' made any improvement in this pose really, because at home I practice on a mat not a carpet. practicing on a carpet is really really hard, especially a new slick carpet. Sliding city. I find myself using my arm strength to hold my legs from slipping sometimes. I also frequently when tired find myself taking a knee here to try to avoid skipping any triangle.

Triangle - DOOZY. firstly, I am proud to say that whatever I do in this pose, the master pose, the hardest of the series, I do honestly and fully. No crappy hip popping up legs close together triangle for me. That said... I feel sad that I don't have more strength to hold this pose for longer. Though it's by far my toughest pose, I continually work towards making full effort and trying. Because my stamina is just not as good as most of the other trainees, it's rare that I do every pose of a class (when doing doubles in the hot hot hot teacher training room and getting very little sleep). So that said, I am trying to the best of my ability. Emmy did a lot of triangle posture clinic stuff wtih us before she left and I learned a lot about rolling the hip forward and tightening the butt behind it, then lifting off the hip and twisting away (back). Fabulous, amazing, powerful stuff. Putting it into practice - I hope that by the next time I check in that I can say that in at least one class I was able to hold it in great alignment for two sides two sets.

Head to knee sep leg - doing this pose hands together in prayer most of the time and inching my forehead up the leg a bit at the end when I can. that's totally progress.
Am usually wobbly wobbly wobbly at this point in class.

tree - stronger balance than before, no 2 knees in one line yet for me. With my extra chunk on my body I do the best I can. I don't have very open hips in that direction. Am working on focusing on that hip joint exactly to work on that.

toe stand - have gone down on both sides (amazing since the foot injury disappeared in week 2). Short arms make it super hard for me to have help stretching up to the ceiling. I know I need to work my core to do this... but I'm not there yet. Once or twice I got my hands into prayer before tumbling forward.

Savasana - holding my heels together is hard for me. My left leg (of injury fame) doesn't like it - the knee doesn't like it. I try to do it in some classes. this pose gets dicey (can you believe that?!!?) when the heat is pumping through the floor. There have been times while I'm trying to rest and catch my breath that I cannot stay in savasana because the floor is burning me. then I pop up, usually in tears, and sit on my butt, knees bent. I hate it when the floor is really hot - there is no relief, nowhere to run. I don't consider leaving the room a real option. tears come easily at that point, but I try to control the abject sobbing because it's a waste of energy and water. I think a lot of that is a feeling of firstly, cooking, secondly - not fair. Bikram often says you have nothing to lose because you had nothing in the first place to begin with. I have always taken the floor not being burning for granted in savasana. I've always taken it for granted that there was always somewhere to rest if I needed it, to find peace. I do feel so upset/angry/not-fair about this being taken away from me. It's easy to check my ego at the door regarding my postures. I knew coming in I was not as strong as most trainees. I try to do what I do 100% right though. Having savasana not be a soft place to land is very very hard for me when the room is hot. (like 120 - 130 degrees.)

Wind removing pose. Sigh... no real progress here. I have short arms. the third part, I try all the tricks - trying to grab my shin to get one arm some leverage to get to the elbows... no dice. No dice. I really try. Will continue to try. Also losing some more weight will help.

Situps - with lots of focus and instruction, these have improved, my effort and execution have improved even while tired.

Cobra - this pose has really changed at training. I have a pretty cobra, and can get my arms to 90 degrees with the help of my hands, but always using the spine strength first and adding the arms at the end. I love feeling the strong back side of the body in this posture.

Locust - nothing doing here. Sore, tired, rarely do I feel any freedom or lift or lightness here.

Full locust - I was soaring this morning. When exhausted, my maintenance level of this pose is pretty pathetic. But good to be doing it. I just feel like lead sometimes and even while looking up, I don't go up.

Bow - when I really push this to my limits I get a yucky tweak in the left lower back. I know there is a tightness there ongoing. So instead of trying to push it up up up, I'm trying to find length through that hip from the lower back to the thigh. I continue to work my awareness there. I know it's worth it for me to work the length before the height. Alway always looking up in this pose. I didn't know why before Emmy told us about looking back (or up) in prep for any backbend, to calm the body's natural protect-that-spine reflex.

Fixed firm - no problem.

Half Tortoise - I am getting closer and closer and closer to the day when I will be able to keep those hips on the heels. I move so slowly in to this pose thinking every day that today may be the day :)

camel - I have a great camel at home. Here I struggle to do camel. I have not made progress in this pose. however, I know that doing it, every class, is the culmination of the series, so doing it is important and is helping me build strength and flexibility. I don't hve too much attachment to this pose going out the window because my back is way stiffer from this amountof practice. Hopefully this will change in later weeks.

rabbit - A hard pose for me. I was not even grabbing my feet till about two weeks before training. And that was a gift to me from a teacher who suggested I take a small gap between the knees and feet to help me grab the feet wtihout bending the heck out of my wrists. In this pose, my boobs literally suffocate me. I think there are a small group of people in the world who would understand that feeling and how awful it is. I can get so little air that sometimes it triggers absolute panic. Actually, it always triggers panic to be suffocated while upside down in a claustrophobic position. Sometimes I can breathe a little bit and stay with it. Often I can't. Working on stretching the right part of the back is awesome though.

sep leg stretching - I like this pose a lot. I realized when I got here that I wasn't exactly keeping both hips on the ground. I have seen some egregious poses though - mine is not like that. But I found a centimeter or two gap and I work to close that. Sometimes that means I don't flex my foot all the way off the ground. Most of the time I try to flex it a few times while keeping the hip down. When I'm feeling strong by this point in class (don't think its happened in 3 wks) I can do it all. My forward bend is out the window from what it is at home. But I always try the right way for the health benefits of the pose.

Spinal twist - I hope to be able to grab the knee with no towel assistance by the time I get home. I have short arms and big thighs and big biceps so it's not happening now.

Final blowing - this is getting way stronger.

Phew! More pose updates at 2/3 and all the way through.

No comments: