Posted by: kerryalina | 3 March 2012

Challenge Class 18: FTW

100% awesomesauce, fantabulous class today :)  Went in feeling achey and stiff (probably unsurprising, after six classes in five days), but all the kinks had loosened by the second set of Half Moon.  Contrary to my usual habits, I intentionally set myself up far, far away from the door and the lovely cool breeze that wafts through it when the teacher’s feeling indulgent enough to open it and let us breathe.  Yesterday I was in my usual spot – basically pressed up against the door – and it was the first time I’ve ever felt cold in a Bikram class!  I don’t know whether it’s the intensive challenge acclimatising my body to the heat or just the cumulative effects of the last nine months finally kicking in, but I can finally get through a class without obsessing over my imminent death by spontaneous combustion.  It means I can move into the warmer parts of the room and leave the doorway for those who really need it… but it also means I can concentrate more deeply on the asanas themselves.

It must have been a good choice, since for the first time in a loooooong time, I managed to get through the entire series without sitting out a posture!  You guys.  I HATE TRIANGLE.  AND LOCUST.  And I today did them both – both sets, no less! – with no sooking and only a little “phoning it it” in the second set.

Counter-intuitively, I think Triangle is so hard for me because I was already fairly flexible when I started Bikram.  It meant I was able to get my hips down all the way in my first class… but I didn’t yet have the muscle strength to hold my body up.  For the first few months, my straight-leg foot constantly slid out from under me – I can’t count the number of times I pulled my inner thigh muscle in this pose.  Then when my thighs finally got strong enough to support me, my hips came into play… painfully crunching and grinding into their sockets as I collapsed my whole upper body weight down into them.  Now my core strength is getting to the point where I can (nearly!) hold my upper body up, but I have to constantly battle this habit I’ve gotten into of sitting out at least one set of the pose.  Part of it is fear of getting injured again… but at this stage, most of it is probably just laziness and habit.  At least now I know I can do it!  And as Bikram says, “If you can, you must!”

Locust is a bit more complicated – it doesn’t hurt my back, or my arms (the two parts it’s supposed to!), but it really hurts my stomach and I just get this feeling of utter despair every single time.  If any pose makes me cry, it’ll be this one.  I’m hoping that I can mitigate the physical discomfort after my test results come back next week… and hopefully the emotional effects are linked and will likewise vanish.  A girl can dream, right?

On a happier note, I got an awesome correction on my Floor Bow today – I need to focus on rolling forward more.  The dialogue says to balance “on the soft part of your belly” and so thus far I’ve been centring on my navel (I think).  But to truly get the feet “in the centre from the side,” I need to roll forward even more, essentially balancing on the bottom of my ribs (or at least, that’s what it feels like).  My teacher asked if she could show me, then gently took my feet and lifted them up and forwards.  AMAZING.  It created a lot more discomfort in the chest area – I imagine I’ll need to work on strengthening and/or opening up some different muscles there – but it just freed my hips so I could kick up soooo much more.  She says if I keep working on rolling forward and kicking from the hip flexors, I’ll be able to straighten my legs in a few months!

(no ego in yoga no ego in yoga no ego in yoga)

(……)

(I CAN’T WAIT TO KICK UP STRAIGHT IN FLOOR BOW!!!!!)

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