Yup, this crazy monkey is still going strong with his practice. Today I hit the fifty class mark (woo hoo!) and it’s really caused me to look back on this past twenty-five classes with some introspection. First, Camel Pose (Ustrasana) and Rabbit Pose (Sasangasana) are now my bitch. Yeah, that’s bold to say, but both of those were some of the hardest for my inflexible spine to get into. For the first thirty or so classes, Camel made me want to throw up almost as soon as I went into the first part (hands at base of back leaning back). When I finally decided to move my hands to my heels in class forty-five or so, everything became clear and calm. Who would have thought that the full pose was that much more comfortable than the beginning motions?!?! I was totally amazed.
With Rabbit, my issue was getting my damn hairline on my damn knees. As my flexibility increased and my gut decreased, it just kinda happened. Rabbit used to make me feel really claustrophobic and those “tiny sips of air” verged on hyperventilation. Now, however, I comfortably move into the pose and watch in amazement as my belly goes in and out with normal full breaths. It just goes to show that the personal journey of one’s practice really is it’s own reward. Yeah, that’s yogic and obscure as all get-out, but it’s one of those personal victories that make me give myself mental high-fives.
So, now that fifty is in the can, what’s next? My hips are still extremely tight (damn you soccer, you sweet sweet game) and, while I can touch my toes pretty regularly in Tibetan Sit-ups, I still have a lot of problems touching my toes without bending my knees in most of the standing series. That’s something I have to work on and haven’t felt like I’ve made a lot of progress with over the past couple of weeks.
Additionally, I have apparently lost some of my focus in Triangle Pose (Trikonasana). My knees have been giving me fits for a while (one of the disadvantages of getting older and already having crappy knees), so I think I really have to focus on keeping my quads engaged to really protect my knee-caps from popping off towards the side mirrors in the room.
As I am reminded in every class, a person’s practice changes every day. I, just like everyone, I imagine, have fantastic days and some crappy days. On fantastic days, I need to push that motivation into the continuation of my practice; on crappy days, I need to borrow from those fantastic days and move on. Over this past fifty classes, I’ve really focused on doing Sunstone’s Fire class with a few Earth and Wood classes thrown in there to mix up my routine. For this next fifty, I was challenged to throw some Metal classes into my mix. Metal scares the crap out of me, but I agree with the people who challenged me that I’m ready for it. I think I’m ready to attempt King Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana) and not crack myself in half.
Here’s to the next fifty!