25 August 2012

Saturday morning practice

Pindasana in Sarvangasana
During a normal week, Saturday morning is the only chance I get to do a yoga practice without a time constraint, so I make the most of it. 
Here are notes from today's 2 hour session...

Part 1: 
I start my practice this morning not too early, but still Way-Before-Breakfast, with Lino's Primary DVD. My body is neither stiff nor flexible, yet it is strangely restricted in a way that I can't identify.

Lino's sun salutes are slow, meditative and strong. I follow along, mind somewhere else, and use the 5 breaths in Dog Pose to funnel the scattered mind energy into mula bandha and breath.

By the end of the standing poses, I feel stronger, clearer, but a little annoyed, not quite sure why. Underlying stress. I stop the DVD. Suddenly the droning count is gone, the room is silent. 
That was it, I needed silence today.
I continue on with practice...

Part 2: 
Seated poses, I stay longer than 5 breaths in some of them as the blanket of quietness descends and the practice begins to change. I let go of the need to follow the 'Ashtanga' rules and follow instead the subtle whisper of my own experience, the inner teacher: Paschimottanasana, Ardha Baddha Padma, Triang, the 3 Janus, the 3 Marichys - I do them all quietly, steadily, with a half vinyasa between each side, not just visiting each one, but entering each one...entering the inner chamber and looking around.

Coming up from each pose, I press down into my hands and lift up, intently practicing the straight leg Dandasana lift (Step 1 of a jump back), then bending knees and crossing ankles, I engage my core and do my best to draw my legs under, keeping my feet off the ground for at least a second or two while leaning forward. It's hard, its awkward, but every little bit of headway here helps to rebuild the core muscles and the mind. Entry and exit into and out of each seated pose becomes slower and slower, each one more considered and deliberate than the last.

This practice may have started as a 'move with the breath' Ashtanga practice, but it is now a research practice. Instead of being repetitive, it has become deeply responsive.

The intensity of engagement increases with each seated pose until I feel burn out set in at Marichy C. Mentally drained now - I just want to close my eyes and lay down.

So I do.

It could have been Savasana and the end of practice, but no...after half a minute, guilt got me up and going again.

And besides, I needed backbends.

Part 3: 
Salabhasana, Dhanurasana, Bhujangasana, Ustrasana and Urdhva Dhanurasana. 
The backbends wake me up and I move into the full finishing sequence, the kind that is rich and full in flavour. 20 breaths in Shoulderstand, then I marinate in Halasana and Karna Pindasana. In Pindasana in Sarvangasana  I manage to finally wrap my arms around my bound Lotus legs and clasp hands - this had been lost to me for over 3 years; getting it back today was the treat of the year.  I hold and deepen into the embryonic curl, feeling the unyielding scar tissue around my lumbar spine resisting the stretch. I breathe space into it and watch it open up.  I'm fascinated by the process.  The difficulty comes when reversing out of the closed curved position and into the open counter pose Matsyasana.  It takes some patience to get there.
30 breaths in Headstand and all the final Padmasana poses including Uth Pluthi.

Laying blissfully in Savasana I observe the energy 'pops'  just behind the bridge of my nose that signal nadi pathways unblocking. They're cute little sounds - the energetic openings are a sweet reward for this morning's perseverance: 2 hours of yoga practice on a Saturday morning. 


sarah said...

what a beautiful way of balancing reactive nature with a deeper inner voice. this is quite moving to me. your practice brings to me the fact that the sun rose for you long before it rose for me, and yet we are spinning in space together.

nobodhi said...

I sense your closeness Sarah, we seem to meet in that place beyond conventional measures of time and distance...
By the way did you ever get to read the book The Grace in Dying by Kathleen Dowling Singh?