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10/12/17 Be Grounded
I was back from my yearly Taiwan trip last night and back to the Mysore room this morning. It's been awhile since I practiced in the room. I missed the vibe and energy there. I took it easy today as it was my first day back from vacation. I only practiced the Primary Series to ground myself. It was a great practice, exactly what I needed after 11 hour flight.
10/16/17 Ready to Eka Pada Sirsasana or Not?
I was more than ready to get into my regular practice with awesome backbends (aka Kapotasana) and Eka Pada Sirsasana preparation. It's been too long since I got assisted in Kapotasasa and I missed it.
Today was one of the longest practice I've ever done, more than 2 hours long. To be honest, I wasn't really practicing the full 2 hours; instead, my teacher came and helped me quite a bit. She gave me lots of tips and advises on how to self correct certain asana alignments or deepen the postures. A lot of the focuses were on backbends and hip openings.
For backbends, She put lots of emphases on why I should keep my neck long, not to drop my head until the last minute, etc. When dropping the head too early in a backbend, I could easily lose the front body engagement and missed the opportunity to open shoulders. I felt a great shift in my backbend when keeping the gaze up until the last minute.
Since I have been prepping for Eka Pada Sirsasana for a while, she said to me today that the only way to learn the pose was to DO IT. So she came and helped me get into Eka Pada Sirsasana A & B. I was helped to get into variation A once and today was my first time to try B. Even with her help, I couldn't get into the full pose, but at least I got the sense of the asana. It wasn't easy and I had a long way to go.
Yoga is a lifetime practice. I don't expect to nail all asanas in a day or I will miss the joy of this journey.
10/18/17 A Breakthrough in Pasasana
I woke up 20 minutes earlier than usual today. Maybe I still had some jet lag. Since I was already up, I decided to start my practice early.
I have been practicing Pasasana for almost 10 months using a 2" thick block under my heels. I could bind on the first side most of times, but struggled on the second side. Today, the assistant came and told me that it was time to get rid of the block. I was thinking in my head that no way I could do it. Little did I know, she was right. I was able to bind and balance with my feet on the ground on the first side and with some help on the second side. I was shocked. I didn't think I could do it, but I DID it.
Sometimes, we are just too comfortable to stay in our comfort zone and refuse to step out.
Often times, we underestimate our capability and make no progress in our practice or at work.
Always, we'd be amazed by the outcome if we are willing to make the change and acknowledge our abilities.
10/31/17 Deal with Injury AGAIN
I pulled my left QL muscle over the weekend. As a result, I had to be careful with my practice today. I went to see the Physical Therapist yesterday and he helped ease the pain quite a lot. Luckily, he didn't think there was anything major and suggested me to practice with caution.
So I went to the Mysore room this morning. I felt the pain mostly when I did twist asanas or poses required me to life the left leg. Other than that, I was fine. Besides modifying my practice, I also skipped some asanas including jump back and jump through, Bhujapidasana, Kurmasana, Supta Kurmasana, Garbha Pindasana and Kukkutasana in the Primary series. I did practice the Intermediate Series up to Kapotasana. Of course, I didn't do the full Kapotasana. I was surprised that my back loved back bends. I thought my bad would disagree with Salabasana, but it turned out my back felt great while in back bends. I had a small chat with my teacher about my injury. Apparently, her back was similar to mine, which our backs loved back bends but not so much for twisting. She asked me to really engage my core while doing twisting poses as well as back bends to protect my back. She made me realize how little did I engage my core. Even my Physical Therapist suggested me to do my deadlift so strength my back muscles and tighten my core to stabilize the lumbar spine.
After finishing my practice, my back felt amazing. It was definitely not as painful as it was before the practice. I am glad that I did the Intermediate Series. Those back bends really help a lot.