Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Yoga happiness

Since the beginning of the month I've been pretty good about my daily yoga practice. Most nights I just do the 10 sun salutations (five of A version and five of B version), which is the standard warm-up sequence in Ashtanga yoga. Once a week or so I do more where I include standing postures and the finishing sequence. As I haven't done much yoga for too long, I figured it would be well worth it to take it easy and to allow my body to slowly adapt to the stretches and postures.

Last night I went to class and I returned home totally chuffed with myself. We haven't gone through a full Primary Series for ages and there are some postures near the end of the Series that I literally haven't attempted for at least two years.

There's this fairly evil posture called kurmasana. I haven't managed to get more than one shoulder/arm under a knee and pointing backwards. Last night, I got both and with not too much difficulty (not much elegance either!)

Here are two views of what this posture should look like:

And this is more what I look like:

And then the posture changes into supta kurmasana, which should look like this:

I did manage to get my arms back (hands can't touch) and my feet together (soles touching) but my head ain't this close to the ground.

Marichyasana A
Earlier in the Series there are these seated twist-and-bind move (marichyasana). When I first started Ashtanga yoga a few years ago I couldn't get my fingers to touch in either the four variations (A to D). I'm now only not connecting in the D (slightly easier variation as I'm not close to being there for the proper D form; I'm not totally comfortable in C - but it is improving!).

Marichyasana C: I can't breathe very comfortably in this posture (I can't yet get as much twist either).
The odd thing about yoga is that some people (novices included) can get something like marichyasana without thinking. I certainly can't - they've always been a challenge. But then there will be other moves, like headstands with straight-leg lift and L-shaped headstand that I got immediately, but other students don't.

It really was a kick last night to actually get into some moves and I've very much felt the benefit of daily practice - even just the sun salutations - daily. It's awesome motivation to keep it up. Just when I'd thought that there were postures that would be out of my reach for the rest of my life, hope flickers.

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