I'm a bit disappointed with myself that I did not do my first practice of 2011 until the 3rd of January! I'm no Ashtangi Angel.... ;o) Anyway, I got back t the gym yesterday morning and again this morning. Knees held up nicely albeit a couple of twinges here and there, mainly the right, but I did all my exercises with complete awareness, making sure my patellas were tracking properly and they were fine.. a big 'yay' to the knees!
But the gym just wasn't enough today. Something was amiss, my little bit of peace :o)
So after I had tidied my gardens and done some other menial tasks I got on the mat(s) (still practicing with 2) at about 3:15. I even delayed my dinner party an hour so I could do a longish practice!
I did 5 Sury As and 3 Bs. This works for me, and although I do all 10 in my mysore classes, the 8 work well at home. The energy doesn't seem to be as high at home as it does in the class, maybe in class you feed more off a collective energy in the room, I don't know, anyway...
My Surys are really coming along nicely. Surys are a part of the practice which many people consider are beginner postures, and you don't find many people commenting on them in blogs and such like. But mine are becoming a much loved part of my practice. I can now fold completely in half, chest to thighs, hands completely flat on the floor. I could never do this, not even before my knee problem (June). My reach up feels lovely, turning the palms out before taking the arms up in the style of Richard Freeman really makes a difference, makes you feels as you're "offering yourself up" (wow that's a bit catholic!) and opening up to the energy.
Chataranga is coming along great. I think it has really made a difference now I'm throwing myself forward when I jump back so I land in chaturanga in the correct position to start and my arms have built in strength so they hold me up no problem now. Being in the correct position allows me to tilt my pelvis up a little to provide the strength to roll up into upward dog, only the tops of my feet on the floor and to roll back over the toes (without pain thanks to the double mat) into downward dog without having to adjust my hands and feet as much as I used to. My heels touch the floor much quicker lately too, this I put down to not locking my knees out (which I used to do naturally as I have hyper-extension) but keeping a micro bend and using the fronts of my lower legs to guide my deeper and not the extension of the knees. (I can't wait til I can use the proper anotomical and physiological terms for these processes!)
My Bs aren't as good but only because I find it hard to balance in Vibradrasana when flowing through the sequence which messes the breath up a bit. I have started sweeping the floor with my hands and keeping a lower squat for Utkatasana though in my last few practices, it's hard work and I don't know what I'm doing differently but I have more control of myself, maybe it's the physio I'm doing, that's building those quads...hope so :o)
My jump to sit is coming along great, with blocks I'm still straight through, but without them I do a little hop just inbetween my hands then come through, so neeeearly there!!
Utthita Hasta Pada is being maintained at a good level. Completely straight leg now with no pain behind the knees. Still using the clasping of the toe coupled with the pulling up of the arm to enable the straight leg and to keep shoulders back. One day the legs will be completely out to the side - 2 dimensionally! I'm using the same tecnique in the lying down version of this posture, which also appears to be working...
I got completely flat in kurmasana today! I adjusted the angle of my legs so they were further towards my head than out to the side and more ontop of my shoulders than the tops of my arms. This puts less pressure on my arms which are both hyper-extensive and therefore vulnerable in this position, especially the left where I broke the elbow just over a year ago. Happy days!
I did 3 backbends, the first was great, the 2nd and 3rd I had the twinge in the left shoulder, so not as good. Need to work on that, but as I'm now doing 3 full back bends and no warm up versions anymore, I should see a difference pretty soon and be able to work out what I'm doing wrong.
New year, new sports bra! I wore this today without anything on top as my room was lovely and warm and as a result got a great shoulderstand as I had flesh for traction!!! Will always wear sports bras at home now, much less of an issue with the old shoulderstands without having clothes in the way :o)
Chakrasanas done with almost straight legs, must work on getting them completely straight and possibly entered into without having to flip myself over at speed. Saves me having to walk bat to my mat after the event! ;o)
Headstand, 25 breathes, 4 breaths with legs parallel to floor. Must work on this but a bit tired today as it's LH time.
So, there it is... 2011, starts with a generally lovely and enthusiastic practice with lots of things to consider working on! Practice in 2011 and all is coming!
That reminds me... must find 2011's yoga retreat soon!!! Need a holiday! (Xmas just isn't the same ;o)