Tuesday 12th October 2009
My yoga friend Renate just returned home after a 2 month trip to France and India with her husband. We resumed our longstanding (has it really been 5 years?) Tuesday and Thursday 6am practice schedule this morning, then caught up on the last 2 months over coffee afterwards.
Getting up at 5.20am was disarmingly easy. I slipped into yoga clothes, drove to the Gallery, lit incense and set up mats and blankets, quite enjoying retracing my steps over this well worn routine.
But practice wasn’t so easy; after 2 months of evening yoga, I’d forgotten about the stiff early morning body resistance that requires so much more patience and humility.
My mind was willing, even eager, my vitality was strong, but my lumbar, sacrum and hip joints had solidified in cement overnight and weren’t budging. Forward bends were stopped short by a piercing knife lodged in my sacrum.
I got to Marichyasana B without compromising, but the accumulated forward bends took their toll on my persistence.
I took the short cut route to the backbends, visiting a few more poses on my way there: Garbha Pindasana, Baddha Konasana, Upavista Konasana and Supta Padangusthasana.
Arriving in backbend territoryI went through the preps: Salabhasana, Dhanurasana, Ustrasana, Setu Bandhasana, then hit the pinnacle Urdhva Dhanurasana. It stretched open every tissue down the front of my morning body, painfully slowly. If I’d been smart I would have done a good shoulder opener first, because it took a couple of breaths before they opened enough to straighten my arms through the elbows. I held a reasonable backbend courageously for 10 breaths , then sunk back to the floor, satisfied.
Meandering through the finishing pose sequence was sweet, like a walk in a perfumed garden. Instead of counting the breaths in Headstand, I counted the length of each breath – 5 counts inhale, 5 counts exhale, then watched as the count gradually and naturally lengthened without any interference on my part. Quiet pauses began to appear at the beginning and end of each breath, then THEY gradually lengthened.
Pranayama in Sirsasana.
All up a surprisingly pleasant return to early morning practice.
No need to travel to India when I can travel through yoga.