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11/13/17 - A Sloppy Practice
My practice was sloppy today. My mind was somewhere else, WORK. I had customer meeting in the morning, ~ 2 hours after my practice, and I was anxious about it. As a result, it reflected to my practice.
Although I was a little disappointed about myself, I still managed to get something good out of the practice. I received a tip from the assistant this morning. While in Prasarita Padottanasana C, she gave me an adjustment and an advise. She asked me to engage uddiyana bandha more in the pose. As I exhaled, really engaged it to stabilize and deepen into the pose. I was amazed by how powerful the bandha was. As soon as I drew the belly in to engage the bandha, I felt the stability in the pose. Not only that, I was able to stay deeper in the pose after her adjustment. That made me realize how much I've neglected the bandha work.
11/15/17 - Slow but Steady Breath
I breathed slower than usual today to focus on the exhale and to engage the bandhas pointed out by the assistant the other day. By slowing down the breath, I found peace and calmness.
I have been working on backbends and Eka Pada Sirsasana prep for a while, and they will continue to be my focus for a while. With my backbends, I see the progress in Kapotasana and drop back. I was quite excited today. When I was doing Eka Pada Rajakapotasana with a dining chair for #PropAndProud challenge, my head was able to touch the toes. That was the first time ever. Little did I know, all the effort I put in the Mysore practice helped. Now, I am investing more in the hip mobility and hoping to see some progress in Eka Pada Rajakapotasana. Just need to be patient.
11/19/17 - Feel so Stiff
I don't normally practice on Sunday; however, I haven't practiced for 3 days, I decided to hit the Mysore room this morning. Normally I practice on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Since this past Friday was a moon day (no practice), so I went this morning instead. My body was tight. I always feel better when practicing yoga everyday, but I also find myself injured more by doing so. It's hard to find the balance.
Today, my front body was extremely tight, especially hip flexors. I could feel the tightness when doing backbends. It was not just tight but sore as well. My hip flexors are always on the tighter side, but they were way tighter than usual this morning. Because of that, I had to back off from my backbends today. As a yoga teacher, I constantly tell my students to listen to their bodies. Our bodies are not the same everyday. Maybe you can get in certain asana easily today, but it doesn't mean you can do it the next day. Today was the day that I needed to follow my own advice to students. "Listen to my body and back off if necessary."
11/20/17 - How to Jump to Bakasana B
Surprisingly, I was able to get into one of the deepest backbends I've ever done today, especially knowing how stiff my body was yesterday. It is true that our bodies are different everyday.
Other than Kapotasana and Eka Pada Sirsasana, which I spent lots of time to work on, I also struggled in Bakasana B. I don't have problem going to Bakasana A though I could work on getting my arms straighter. I have hard time jumping from Downward Facing Dog to Bakasana B. I probably hopped 10 times or more everyday before getting it. In the past, I've been hopping from Downward Dog with feet hip distance apart (left picture below). Few weeks ago, my teacher suggested me to bring feet together, big toes touched, and bend the knees outward as preparation for the hop (right picture below). By doing so, I was able to "hug energy in." I haven't fully got the feel of it as I am still experimenting the hop. I hope I will be able to share more in the future.
11/23/17 - Thanksgiving Home Practice
I managed to squeeze in a practice this afternoon before friends showing up for dinner, barely. I thought I had couple hours to spare, so I decided to roll down my mat and practiced. As I got into Kapotasana, I grabbed my phone to shot a video to document my progress. Then I realized that I only had 50 minutes left to take a shower and prepare two more dishes (stuffing and green bean casserole). So, I had to stop there. Glad I was able to have everything done in time.
Besides the small episode I had, it was a good practice. I was able to focus. Also, my body was more open in the afternoon compared to the morning practice in the Mysore room. I was able to get in some asanas deeper and Kapotasana was one of them.
A Tutorial of How I Do Kapotasana Prep:
I like to warm up Kapotasana with the wall. I start on my knees and face opposite side of the wall about 1 ft. away.
This is part of my practice routine. I hope you may find it useful.