There were moves happening in yoga class today that I couldn’t comprehend, let alone try to do.
Like when our teacher nonchalantly dropped to the floor to show us how to move into Kumasana.
From there she moved into Supta Kurmasana which the young egyptian fellow next to me eased into. She had him lift his body up from the floor with his hands, in case he wanted to try to extend the pose a little further…
Later, as we progressed through our Astanga ‘Primary’ Series, another classmate moved into Pindasana (womb or embryo pose) after which our teacher started rolling her around saying we should do this ‘rolling’, about 9 (or 10?) times.
Meanwhile I tried to busy myself with some prior posture, thinking to myself
no expectations, only do what I can do today.
…..all that other stuff I’m trying to work on, in my yoga practise.
I came home drenched with sweat once again. Covered my shoulders with a towel to protect my muscles from the cool draft of the air conditioner. Made myself a much-needed cup of coffee and something to eat. We practise from 7:30am to 9:30am, so by 10:00am I was desperate for coffee and food!
I sat on the couch, on a towel, so as not to transfer sweat on the sofa. Bringing the mug to my lips, I noticed it wasn’t quite so hard to pick it up this morning. Then it was off to shower. My arms were not as so sore and heavy when I shampooed my hair. I managed to keep the blow dryer extended in the air today for longer than I’ve been able to the past few Fridays, when my exhaustion sets in.
There are changes happening.
While practising I can now place my hand on the floor instead of on my shin in Utthita Trikonasana. I now call the pose by its Sanskrit name instead of saying Triangle pose.
I learned a new pose today called Supta Padangusthasana that will surely help me with Utthita Hasta Padangustana. They’re similar only the latter is done balanced on one leg, while the former is done lying down (I like the lying down bit).
I think I figured out this week why my left wrist, left shoulder and left hip are all causing me some trouble/pain. Though I can’t yet do anything about it, just knowing what’s causing it, what I need to work on, helps. I need to allow my body time to adjust.
Having such physical limitations can bring about two experiences. I can either learn to accept the way things are. I can learn to let go of expectations. I can learn to be gentle on myself. Or, I can become frustrated, depressed, discouraged.
With yoga practise, we’re not supposed to compare ourselves to others but remain focused on ourselves. However, in our Friday morning session, it’s very much a learning class and we’re there helping each other along ….even today cheering others’ efforts a couple of times as some remarkable progress was made.
Tomorrow at our Saturday Mysore practise we’re on our own. There’s no one leading us. We each move at our own pace. With our own breath. There’s no looking around. We focus on where we’re at. What we’re doing. If we forget or screw up the sequence our teacher has us do it all over again. She’s a stickler for learning Astanga yoga as it’s meant to be learned. A stickler for following the purpose and traditions of the practise. But I like that. It is teaching me how to learn, how to focus, how to be disciplined.
It is also teaching me that my eyes are wide open to the experience and my heart is very much a willing student.