Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Back in town

Lots going on the past 2 weeks - trip home to see my folks and a baby shower, then a wedding in South Carolina last weekend. Busy! I have to say, Southern people have to be the friendliest, sweetest people EVER. Any where we went I would be gawking and gandering at things (like a tourist) and randomly by accident catch someone's eye. And everyone smiles. It's so weird, the first day I kept checking my shirt to see if I had crap on it or something on my face or had this eery feeling everyone knew something amusing that I didn't know.

But no, it was just a basic human reaction - when you catch eyes with someone you smile! And get off on the right foot! I mean I live in a small city so it isn't like people are completely closed off but I'm not in the habit of looking strangers in the eye and smiling (mainly cause I walk home from work in the dark quite a bit - no stranger danger for me). I loved it and started smiling back. I felt like Mary Poppins by the end. Such sweet people!

Had a nice basic half primary tonight, J was putting on a community class at lulu and several peeps from the studio were there to support her! She's doing led 2nd tomorrow evening at the studio, hopefully my job behaves itself and I can make it.

I'm really looking forward to a weekend at home after being away the past two. I'm going to fill it with yoga and homecooked meals. And maybe some chocolate bunnies. Ahhhhhhhhhhh!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bake Me a Bread Coffin

So I've gone a little overboard on the, um, breadbaking the past 6 weeks. Since my little kitchenaid showed up and I discovered the amazing things I could make with it!

I've gained about 5 pounds purely from loaf consumption - can't really pin it on anything else. Maverick has been eating it too, but he couldn't gain weight if he swallowed a brick of gold. He does feel like he could use a break too though...so we've declared the house a bread-free zone for the next couple of weeks. I'm already in withdrawal!

It's just so easy...and, comforty...and buttery...why have an apple when you can have toast? Why have a salad when you can have grilled cheese?

Haha, you see how it goes. We will make an Easter loaf but until then no bread!

It's a moon day so no ashtanga...I will be doing some stretches and working on LBH. I took a clip yesterday that was too absurd to post, but I think I can see what part of my problem is. I'm bringing my knee back, which is great, and stuffing everything back there - but my ankle isn't back nearly as far. Think I will try some pigeons with my knee at a right angle and shin parallel to front of mat, get my femur more rotated externally (if that makes sense). Then maybe some more karanda tries!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hips, Cheesed, Led Intermediate

Normally in A's Saturday fun class we do lots of backbending. Yesterday, I was excited when she told us that we'd be doing hip openers. I love backbending, but right now my biggest block is the hips so I was thrilled to learn some stretches and work on them. We ran out of time and didn't actually make it to LBH but I did learn a few things I can do when I play at home. We did pigeon on a chair, it was crazy hard but I could tell it worked. I felt like Beyonce walking down the street afterward. All pop and snap and shaZAM with those hips!

After class I grabbed a coffee with a yogini friend and then we wandered up to lululemon...I've been hauling my big black mat between two studios with an annoying strap holder thing and I decided it was time for a mat bag. Something a little easier on my shoulder hopefully with some extra storage to boot. Didn't see anything that fit the bill, however I picked up a gift for someone and a strap for myself (the one I've been using for karanda doesn't have buckles and constantly slides apart).

The lulu checkout girl rang in my order, looked at the strap and said, "you'll have to let me know how this works". I was puzzled and said, "really? sure." thinking it better work as it cost eight dollars. She elaborated, "well I don't use a lot of props in my practice so..."

I gotta say, I was a little cheesed and felt oddly defensive? Takes quite a bit to miff me (perhaps you've noticed my maddening good nature, my writing is peppered with emoticons and exclamation points - can't help it! just happy!) but that annoyed me. I reined in my ego, politely asked for my receipt and complained to my ashtangi pal after we left the store - she thought it was hilarious!

Yeah it meant nothing, just feeling defensive about my props. I don't use them when I practice traditional ashtanga. I use them when I "play"! Slippery slope maybe…

So today in Led (I'm over it - back to happyland) we did full primary and intermediate. Yowza. It was a blazing hot energyfest for 2 1/2 hours. Stick a fork in me, I am DONE. I have done nothing but soak in epsom salts then lie on the couch and listen to my iPod this afternoon.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Karanda attempt

video

Plenty of work to do, but it's a start. The thing I'm holding between my hands is a flip-flop, I got the idea from a video I saw on Youtube - I think it was a pincha tutorial. It helps a lot with the stability, not something I'd want to use forever but it helps keep things lined up if I'm going to be trying it a few times in a row.

Been able to do lotus in headstand for a while but my pincha has never been stable/consistent enough for me to feel confident giving karanda a try without someone adjusting me. Something about Nancy telling me to learn to fall, and to just keep trying had me thinking about this one since I got back from Goa.

And long live the liberator in all it's black velvet glory!! Is there anything this prop can't help with? :-)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Led Primary

J is back next Sunday so we'll be back on the Led Intermediate train (yay!), but I was leading the practice group today so we did Primary.

I'm glad I'm not doing primary all the time anymore, it makes me love it again. I'm also finding that 2nd has helped my primary a lot...Supta K feels better (LBH work), my nemesis bhujapidasana is smoother (bakasana and tittibhasana work). Even the shuffleback has benefited from something, maybe bandha is a teensy bit stronger? Of course it's still a shuffle, no flying and floating for this gal yet.

I need to get my brain off LBH. I haven't been obsessing about the other asanas and eventually things just come together. There are other things I can't do in 2nd that I'm completely OK with. I accept that I'll learn them and do them in time, with practice but LBH really brings out my emotion/attachment/defeat. I guess it is part of my lesson maybe. Everyone finds a roadblock they struggle with somewhere and LBH is definitely mine.

Someday I will be a good yogi and not obsess about any of it and just DO IT and then let it go...I'm not there yet :-)

It is beautiful here today, the sun is shining and it is the nicest weather we've had in weeks. Maverick and I are going to walk to a nearby art gallery this afternoon and see some pretty things. Then we will make our freestyle vegetarian lasagna for dinner...mmmm!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Heels

I've been so preoccupied with LBH, that backbends haven't been something I have really been pining for. This morning, however, after it happened, I felt (and feel) like a five-year-old on Christmas morning.

I got my heels! Towards the end of a fun and intense non-traditional class, including just the right mix of quad, groin and shoulder openers (along with many others), I reached my heels in kapo.

Dropping back I hung and held and waited and breathed, finding the balance point with the hips far forward. I could see my toes. I tucked my tailbone in a big scoop and aaaaaaaaaarched my thoracic (yes, with 9 a's) and let my hands land quietly on my mat just a short distance from my toes. Spider-crawled my fingers in and heard A instructing someone else to try walking along the outside of the feet...changed tactics and crawled up the outside...past toe, footpad, midsole...holy crap, past midsole??? Kept going, scoop hips, take bandha, push hips forward, crawl aaaaaaall the way up to heels and BIND. Glorious!

I let my elbows descend to the floor and breathed deeply 5 times. No panic, no pain, it felt amazing (which is remarkable considering the bitching my back has been doing lately).

So usually when I have a breakthrough like this, it shows up and blinds me with happiness and excitement, then goes away for a while. It always comes back though. So I expect the same for heels in kapo. Now that it has shown up, I know it will be back, so I'm going to let it go. But only after treating myself to a massage to celebrate :-) Happy Saturday everyone!