Friday, January 30, 2009
It's been forever since I've blogged about practice- for the longest time, my response to the question "how's your practice?" has been, "it is". and sometimes, it hasn't been- my ashtanga practice, that is. After a break from teacher & shala, then a break from Mysore in general (hello, Dharma Mittra and Jivamukti!), I came back home to AYNY and the rigors of an (almost) daily practice this fall. My heart, my home, this practice, these teachings, this teacher. Contended with a shoulder-thing that for several weeks precluded chatturanga dandasana and rediscovered the practice with, as I explained to the man, "all the fun bits stripped away"- no jumpings, jumpbacks, jumpthroughs, working very carefully with backbending... took me to a quieter more meticulous place where the asana themselves were held for 8, 10, 12 breaths and the transitions glossed over. Deep, sweet, soft.
Now, free from the physical fatigue borne by restaurant work, practice has emerged at the forefront of my existence, for the first time in a long while. And the tangible marks of "progress" in the primary series are also manifesting, much as I opt to downplay my reliance on just such signs. Hands to the floor in prasarita C. floatier less clunky jumpthroughs. wrist-binds in the marichis, one breath to get into D. shake-free navasana. clumsy, but proper exit out of bhujapidasana. handbind in supta kurma (with help), and slowly working on exit with legs crossed before tittibasana-ing out of it. hands to ears in garba pindasana. chin and chest to floor in badhakonasana. ditto for upavishta konasana. this week, hands crept in to heels in backbending, 5 days running now. dropbacks so sweet, hover, linger, breathe, fingertips touch, inhale up, last one manage no duck-feet. all with steady, strong breath. good stuff. The sense of ennui with practice has dissipated, as asana previously horrible feel nice, enjoying the entire series where I used to have strong preferences and dislikes. It's all good, now. For now.
A new nemesis lurks, however. last month, E told me he's been waiting for the shoulder to be rehabilitated and saw no reason why we shouldn't start me on intermediate in the new year; mari D looking good, ditto badhakona, supta kurmasana is what it is, standing up from backbends... didn't really hold him to it, but kinda did.
Last year, a different teacher had expressed interest in giving me intermediate, and I realized I didn't feel like it would be legitimate or count unless it came from E. Looks like things might be legitimized, and soon! After more than 7 years with this. Never realized that I wanted it as much as I do, until faced with the (however vague) promise that in fact I *am* Intermediate series-worthy! Yay! Never one to ask for a pose or push in practice, I nonetheless rejoiced at the mere prospect of not being "stuck' doing just primary for a lifetime of practice as I often allowed myself to think- and I do have a lifetime to dedicate to this practice, that much I know.
After a glooorious practice yesterday, and an unassisted primary today, teach announced, "Monday, pashasana", after another nice hands to heels urdhva D. I gave a mock frown. "new nemesis". And then, knowing full well it's not, "is monday a moonday?". As in you are messing with me, right? anywhoo. the mere prospect of that awful squat-twist thing appalls and excites me- once I am free from the gatekeeper/Cerberus to the 2nd series, I can't wait for all that's to come since my heart (pun intended) lies with the backbends. Funny from a girl who's dedicated a few thousand hours to a series so focused on forward bends. Definitely not counting on Monday being the day, but soon. Soon. Soon coming.
In other news: over the last year I: quit the restaurant gig, taught led ashtanga, "auditioned" for yoga classes, became more tolerant, assisted a Mysore room, went to Greece (twice!), fell in love, visited London for the first time since college, got my groove on, made new friends, reconnected with old friends, freaked out about money, spent a fortune on a dress, rocked stiletto heels, went on a blind date, committed to an old love, taught teachers-in-training, sang, watched the sun dance on the lake at the ashram and the moon rise over the mountains in chios, became more social, went dancing, spent Thanksgiving in New England and New Year's in Athens, taught prenatal and subbed baby + parent yoga, was happy, then freaked out, went to the dentist, meditated, laughed, cried, picked up classes, lost classes, considered the future, dwelled on the present.
It's been a full year, it seems. More, soon coming. Soon.
All is coming.