During today's practice I discovered a new prop - wrist weights.
My son gave them to me quite a while back and I've never used them.
But while working strongly in Prasaritta Padottanasana C, I was remembering (fondly) the classic adjustment I used to get at the shala: that simple pressing down on the hands - there's no way to replicate that in a home practice I thought. But from upside down, I spied the hand weights in the corner - I came out of the pose, tied the weights around my wrists and tried the pose again.
It was great! The extra weight helped to release my shoulders and arms much further into the pose.
I left the wrist weights on and continued to the end of the standing poses, they're my new toy for this week.
The little flirt with Hot Yoga ended a couple of weeks ago, as soon as my one month offer ended. I won't go back. It's not for me. I've come to my senses and am now finding great joy practicing on my own again, in the quiet intimacy of my personal space. Ashtanga still forms the basis of my practice, but quite often, like today, I will start with the Surya Namaskars and all the standing poses in traditional Ashtanga form, then wander off wherever the practice takes me after that.
Today, after finishing Virabhadrasana B (with the weights on my wrists), I extended the standing poses with Virabhadrasana C, Standing Splits, Garudasana and Vashisthasana A and B, then went to the wall for handstand and Pincha Mayurasana. Back on the mat for a few forward bends, a series of backbends, and finally the beautiful finishing sequence. It ended with an extended 8 minute (70 breath - yes I was counting) Headstand because I was having trouble focussing on the energetic flow up the spinal cord, the energy was drawing up ok but getting stuck around the shoulders and throat. I'd drift off, then drift back, then resolve to keep my focus. I'd reconnect with the subtle energy flow and come up against the block again. Work tension has obviously lodged in my shoulders, and my throat is blocked with so many things unsaid in my life. Willpower and focus just weren't enough to get prana sweeping through the blockages today. A little project to work on next time... or perhaps I could just let loose and sing instead.
Every practice reveals something new, if I am open to the enquiry.
I'm loving the clear energy from the green smoothies and raw foods - feeling creative, vibrant, powerful, effervescent and loving my life so much.
In my cyber travels, I came across these great articles (courtesy of Raw Raw Riot)
Being Healthy is a Revolutionary Act
A Manifesto For Thriving in a Mixed Up World
The articles reminded me of a favourite Krishnamurti quote:
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."