It's been a while since I posted but have done a load of home practice since then. I'm also back to my Friday Self practice class with J at the Buddhist Centre Birmingham, my teacher V's teacher and it feels great. V's away at the moment, has been for 3 weeks, so it's been ALL home practice apart from the resurrected Friday.
I have however taken over one of V's own classes in the week whilst he's away; I've done 3 so far and the numbers are growing every week which is really good news, kinda makes me think I must be doing something right! Yay! It's great for my own practice too, as I feel as if I have to practice in a way, especially immediately before class, in order to get focused and centred in order to to be able to teach exactly what I know. So my home practice has been boosted to 6 days a week.. the day off normally depends on energy, but is normally the Saturday or Sunday. I'm generally practicing straight after work too, like literally, coming home, having a cup of tea and straight on the mat. This takes me up til about 7:30, then I can make food, relax and do other stuff. I'm loving it :) Had some great news today...they're trialing home working, and given the speed I work at this could leave a lot of time in the morning to be able to do my practice and take my time, with no rush to get to work, park the car etc.. fab news, and my name is already down on the list! It also means cooking will be easier and more structured, two good meals a day, planned and executed and enjoyed!
SO anyway...my practice... today I've done ashtanga up to the seated sequence then had my first go at Ramaswami's seated posterior stretch sequence from the Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga. I have to say that it was so much easier than the last sequence (asymmetric) that I practiced. I actually made it to the end of this sequence..not without a struggle mind you! I have to say that my work on padmasana is reaping me benefits...many more than I would've believed. This has changed my mind about padmasana being taught in the primary series... I've read a lot that this is an advanced posture which beginners should not practice, and I can understand why, cos of the unopen hips and the subsequent strain on the knee. However, you must persist with it to be able to do a lot in the 2nd series, in fact you must persist to do the kurmasana and konasana sequences in the primary. I think once you have padmasana under your belt then a lot more postures are open to you. The posterior sequence is great for the leg behind the head practice too.. my hips felt sufficently stretched (esp the posterior section) and I was amazed at how quickly and easily I managed a deep kurmasana and supta k, without doing the whole of the ashtanga seated sequence. I have to say that I can now get the leg behind the neck, still working on how to hold it there, training the hip muscles, but at least they've found their way :)
I did the whole of the posterior sequence then went on to finish with back bending. My back bending after all that forward stretching was difficult, purvottanasana was even further away than normal after doing all the forward bending, including kurmasama! Wow.. hard stuff.
But it did seem to open the hips a lot in prep for the back bending. I've been taking Richard Freeman's advice pushing up in the back bend just above the pubic bone, which has made an unbelievable difference..I feel as if I'm propelling my pelvis to the ceiling, feeling so high off the ground, such a great feeling. I'm even dropping to my forearms on the third back bend to prepare for kapotasana, trying to free up the inside of the forearms and strengthen the front of the shoulders, although Kapo is so far away.........
I'm loving my practice at the moment, not one bit seems to be a chore :)