So I did make it back to the Mysore room last night. Or, actually, at least a couple of days ago by the time this actually gets online. I’m in a hotel room in the centre of London, and not about to fork out the £loads required to get wifi in here! Have spent the day with my sister and my teeny tiny nephew in Great Ormond Street, as he’s spending some time there having various –oscopies and biopsies done to check for an immune system problem that he almost certainly has (like his big brother). The question is exactly where it’s lurking, and what damage might there already be in his little 11 month old organs. She’s been through it all before with the big brother, who’s now 4 and has done just fine, so although seeing your baby fast for 24 hours before a general anaesthetic is no-one’s idea of fun, it’s less scary than it was last time around*. Anyway. Neither Ashtanga or Academia so I’ll get back to the mysore . . .
I told my teacher I wasn’t doing my full practice, and though I hadn’t decided when I was stopping, she stopped me after Navasana, which was perfect timing as I was just wondering whether to go for Bhuja P or not. Generally a stronger, fitter, deeper practice than I expected. But my hips! Where are my beautiful, flexible hips?! In the second standing balance (the half lotus forward folding . . . you can tell I’m not online as I type as I can’t google the names!) the floor was suddenly miles and miles away. I usually get my hand flat on the floor comfortably, but on the second side it felt like I was on the tips of my fingers, and the outside of my thigh and backside were telling me all about it.
Having said that, Mari B and D were fine – just needed a little help to bind Mari D on the tight side. Nowhere near getting my lotus together without hands while in shoulder stand, and my back felt really tight in halasna and karnapidithingummywhatsit. Three dolphins of 10 breaths each. Well, two of 10, one of 9 and a gasp.
The finding my core. Well. I found that in Mari A – folding forward and keeping my straight leg from rolling in is really getting into my upper core muscles. And then I was aware of them latter when mashing potato! I didn’t realise how much muscle I put into my food prep. Not too sore today, but expecting to feel it tomorrow. Especially after a day of mostly sitting around on trains, in hospital etc. My room here is big enough for a little practice, but with no mat (had to choose between that and my laptop. Marking season = laptop FTW, sadly.
And so to the Warrior epiphany. My shoulders are forever up by my ears in Fierce posture and the warriors, and last night a determined adjustment suddenly had me feeling then rightness of holding my arms in the right place to keep my shoulders down. They feel like they’re a long way forward, but when I did it this morning I could see in the mirror that they’re still very close to vertical. And it’s working the outside/backs of my upper arms in a way that feels very right. Was really glad to be able to repeat it again on my own this morning, although as I moved from one side of warrior to the next I did suddenly realise that my back was all out of whack – one of those things where the brain can only consciously deal with so much at once, I need to give it time (aka practice) to become more intuitive.
Incidentally, I had a recent epiphany in a ‘beginners’ class a week or two again. We did some poses around backbending and – revelation – turns out, the front of your body is connected to the front! I know! Who’d have thought it?!
OK, so maybe this is something that I had been vaguely aware of, but the ‘click’ was when I realised that the tightness that tends to appear on one side of my back more than the other is directly connected to the tightness in one side of my psoas (I think it was my right side). Funny how you can be told and shown something so many times, but then one day it just suddenly goes in. I’d think about the link quite consciously with my upper back – opening the chest to open the back – but not the lower back. I’m sure this will REVOLUTIONISE my practice immediately. Or, you know, change the way I think about backbends a bit so that it benefits them a little. One of the two.
* EDIT two days later - and he's fine - has exactly the condition they suspected, the stuff they're doing already seems to have prevented too much internal scarring, and they can now start some targeted drug therapy to go with the restricted diet they're already using.