Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tough class last night

Last night my studio head taught Bikram - and I rarely get to take class from her.

I think the class was about 95 minutes long (as opposed to 90) and it really pushed my limits.  The second set last side of triangle seemed to take an eternity.  And she introduced the pose as "we're going to do it Anna's way" so I knew I couldn't drop out of the pose.  I just couldn't.

I hung there for what seemed like an eternity!

I am pretty good about honoring my body and my practice and taking breaks when I need to.  I use the breath as a barometer and know when I am in my "uh-oh" zone with the breath.  However, I also have the strong urge to set a positive example in class of how to work the asanas.  This is my edge.

Sometimes that urge to set a positive example allows me to hang for just a second or two longer than I think I can without going into the uh-oh zone, where I'm breathing in and out hard, and without control (though always through the nose).

Pose specifics... I'm finally finding the setup for standing head to knee (yes I said the setup) to be a bit more comfortable.  It's always been a really hard thing for me to hold the foot - I think because of my bustiness, frankly.  Kicking out, I'm able to hold in the position for much longer, though not ever yet through the entire first set (60 seconds).  Elbows down?  Iffy... haven't touched the forehead to the knee for some time.  I'm more interested in firming up the strength in the setup than that final part.

Standing Bow - I'm moving more slowly and falling out less.  But still falling out a lot more than I'd like.  (Hello expectations!)  I am working hard on the standing leg strength.  Also, as I start to come down, I'm thinking about rotating the shoulders around the axis of the upper spine.  It's the COOLEST feeling that I discovered a few weeks ago.  Every once in a while I get to my max and am able to hold it and work it.  My flexibility is miles ahead of my strength in this pose so my goal is to move more slowly to allow myself to hold it longer rather than maxing out and falling out over and over and over.

Toe stand - I fall out every single time.  I have short arms and can't touch the fingers to the floor when I walk the hands around.  I'm so wanting to balance here!  Sometimes I have a glimpse of it.

Cobra - My cobra really feels good and strong.  I try to not come out early even when I go up nice and high.  Sometimes it feels like FOREVER.

Locust both legs up I'm truly getting the sensation of bringing the weight forward and pushing the chest down. This is getting me more height than ever, though it's not anything impressive.

Really working the stretch in rabbit...

that's where I'm working most right now!


Paula said...

Hi Anna, you won one of the Ultima replenisher sample packs from YogaDudes. Please email your full name and mailing address to


Emma said...

i forget... does bikram frown on props? (besides the necessary towel!)

anna said...

Pretty much - you got it - props are frowned on. I might enjoy trying some blocks under my fingers in toe stand though outside of class just to enjoy that supported sensation :)