15 June 2011

Iyengar Yoga with Buffy

At last, the Iyengar Week 31 - 35 sequence in its entirety tonight.

Again it was cold when I stepped onto the mat at 6.45pm.
A brisk set of sun salutes would have been the conventional warm up but my lumbar and hips were too cold and stiff to step or jump forward, so I did a very unconventional warm up - 4 minutes of skipping - a good old aerobic warm up that doesn't require much flexibility, but gets the breath and blood moving quickly and heats the body instantly.
After 10 minutes of preparation poses (Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana and Supta Padmasana) I officially started the sequence at 7pm.

The first problem I encountered was in Urdhva Padmasana (the lotus variation of Headstand). I'm sure I could have done this tonight if I hadn't left my thick socks on - my feet had no grip to manoeuver into Padmasana which left me stranded upside down in a half Padmasana and unable to go on to Parsva Urdhva Padmasana or Pindasana in Sirsasana on both sides. After finishing the Headstand variations my feet were warm enough to take off my socks, but it was too late then. But I'll know for next time.

The next ten problems I encountered were all caused by my dog: sitting into my back while I did all the Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand) variations, and getting under my legs during Halasana; then I couldn't drop from Sarvangasana into Setu Bandha or I would have squashed her - I had to roll out of Sarvangasana diagonally to avoid her then plonk her off the mat and do Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (and Eka Pada) from the floor.
She climbed on me whenever she could tonight, and she dropped litle toys and dog bones under me when I wasn't looking that stuck into me when I rolled out of poses. She even curled up on my calves during Ustrasana and tried to go to sleep. At times her solid body weight was useful on my thighs (she climbed up onto my thighs in Supta Virasana and gnawed on her bone, and again in Salabhasana which added 10 kilograms to the leg lift). Towards the end of the sequence, she took advantage of my comfy Baddha Konasana lap for a couple of minutes before she got tossed off yet again!

Despite Buffy's non-stop attention seeking, the practice was thorough.

I'm really enjoying this sequence now, its well designed, balancing backbends and forward bends, and its quite familiar. My neck loves the first part - it gets a muscular workout from holding the extended Headstand variations (8 minutes total tonight) then an extreme forward bend stretch in the extended Shoulderstand sequence (17 minutes tonight), followed by a good twist in Jatara Parvatasana, then a short rest during the abdominal poses before being fully liberated in Ustrasana, a pose that squeezes every last bit of tension out of my neck.

Dinner was a late one - 8.45pm. Then poor neglected Buffy finally got her long sniffing walk around the streets. I let her go as far as she wanted and simply followed her like a puppy.

Its late now and my alarm is set for 5.30am. But I'm looking forward to morning practice...

1 comment:

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