So- I love teaching my Thursday night classes and last night was really no different. We worked with back bends at 4:30 and wow- we just really needed more time. We got into dwi pada viparita dandasana with the head up and chest to the wall quite nicely. That has really come along. I remember the first time I introduced that in class that it was really hard for people. And almost everyone in the room does it now without a lot of problems.
So, now that we have that, we need to work with the classic form of that pose which is the head down and the legs out straight and together. This variation asks for a lot more bend in the upper middle back and also the skill in the legs to keep the pain out of the sacrum is very essential. And we just needed more time to work through the challenges that arise with the classic form. And it would have been helpful to have some intermediate steps from head up and chest to the wall to the full pose. So now I have some ideas of what we need to do over the summer to get the skills built up so that this pose is a regular part of our repertoire. The thing is once you have the head down variation sorted out then headstand drop overs are easier and you can start to work on going from dwi pada viparita dandasana back to headstand. (Have you noticed the theme here? Get this one thing- now do this. Oh and now that you can do this, let's work on something even harder. Oh great, you can do that, well, try this.) Also the place in the back that bends in the classic form is a place that has to bend for the advanced back bends like eka pada raja kapotasana and even for scorpion so leaving it unattended is just not the way to go.
Here is the longer sequence that yesterday's class is pulled from. This one is much longer than what we did in class yesterday but would be great for a two-hour home practice. Or maybe for the Immersion this weekend....
parsvottansana, Backbend stage only
prasarita padottanasana 2X
urdhva mukha svasana 3X
parsva danurasana 2X
urdhva danurasana 6X
dwi pada viparita dandasana 3X
supta baddha konasana
adho mukha swastikasana
parsva adho mukha swastikasana
pascimottanasana, legs wide 2X
setu bandasana, sacrum on block
padanhastasana in setu bandasana
So anyway, the4:30 class worked super hard and I ruined my streak of getting out of class semi-on time and fell back into my pattern of a dysfunctional relationship with Matt the 6:00 Ashtanga teacher. (Matt, a very nice guy, pretends not to mind that I run late, I pretend not to notice that he really does mind. I make promises to change and then I don't. I continue my poor behavior and he continues not to confront me on it. See- very dysfunctional. )
The 6:00 class was nice and full although now that Caroline no longer works the front desk I have to tell Laura that my classes are never full- I will find room for whoever shows up. She turned people away last night and I ran into one of the people she turned away in the hallway who told me that she had been told she could not come in. So I looked at Laura and I said, "We have plenty of room." She said, "You have over 21 people in there" to which I replied, "I have put 33 in here before. " So anyway, in my book we were far from full.
We worked on kidney loop and pelvic loop and applying them to twists. (revolved child's pose, parivritta parsvakonasana, maricyasana 3) It was a fun class and people made lots of progress throughout the class. Anne made her Maricyasana 3 clasp on one side (her New Years resolution pose). Jeremiah came to observe. (What a student-he takes the 4:30 class, then observed the 6:00 and then he stayed to teach his own class at 7:15. )
Crescent pose in the front plane
revolved childs pose 3X
maricyasana 3 2X
We worked with the theme of Purna in both class, which conclude our six-week session on The Six Attributes of the Absolute. Purna is perfection or fullness and points us to that part of ourselves that lacks nothing. Rather than perfection being a lack of fault, in this model, perfection is the fullness of Essence. At the Highest Level, that is the nature of the Absolute. It is Full. It is Perfect. It lacks nothing. And like all the other attributes, this Fullness gets cloaked and hidden and so that by the time we are in bodies and in lives, we perceive that we are in need of things to complete us- (food, clothes, jobs, excitement, etc. you name it.) This cloaking actually creates longing within us because we perceive lack and so then we long to return to Fullness and therefore we WANT.
The cool thing to me is that as we pull on the thread of the longing and its many faces we can see that what we are really longing for (in my opinion) is a life of dignity, a true experience of our Fullness and the many manifestations of embodied Love. So anyway- hopefully yoga practice helps us glimpse a little of that Fullness, a little of the Beauty that lacks nothing and that lives within us as us.
Karuna, Jen, Kelly, Anne, Mark, Katherine, Susan, Mandy, Jesse, and Meg all double -dipped. Oh and Katherine brought eggs. $4/doz for organic fresh eggs. Can't beat it.
Okay- so enough for today. Off to walk the dogs.