OMG - I've just realised I haven't blogged for like 5 weeks. I hate myself already... But...I've got a good excuse, I've been renovating my house, 2 rooms at the same time, full overhaul, plastering, painting, the works, it's taken up so much more time than I originally thought, (and money), but I'm nearly finished now, just soft furnishings to do....TG.
Luckily, one of the rooms in my new yoga shala! So much more room, no cracks or imperfections in the wals to distract me from the practice, just a beautiful white room with wooden floor...bliss. My new bedroom is just the same, perfect white walls and ceiling, white carpet, japanese style bedroom furniture and minimalism...ZEN. Love it.
But I have been practicing, and I've so missed blogging.
My practice has been great recently. Loving it, as being so busy it really is a retreat from the stresses that surround me. I treated myself to a Liz Lark workshop run by Stone Monkey Yoga Cafe in Leamington last Sunday, it was fab, but I'm still feeling it today! Such a lovely woman, teacher and inspiration. I haven't been on any female yoga workshops, so this was a first, and I loved it. Very feminine, yet strong. She introduced pada bandha as one of her key concepts for grounding. I've read a little bit about it, in Mark Stephen's book on Teaching Yoga, but not found anything elsewhere, although it may be being taught more subtely elsewhere. Anyway, it's my new favourite bandha. The grounding you achieve from engaging the pada bandha is unbelievable. Utthita hasta pandangustasana was a breeze....backbendng taken to another dimension....
All by engaging the big toe and little toe and heel; try to lift the 3 toes in between to feel the connection, then place them back down on the floor. The magic triangle of big toe, little toe and heel was just amazing. I think what it does is engages the inner seam of the leg so that the upper thigh medially rotates (rotates inwards) giving your whole leg the strength it requires, instead of balancing on the ouer edge of the foot which I used to feel happened a lot.
I've been practicing lifting the 3 toes inbetween ever since and have mastered it! I tried it whilst dropping back on Monday and whilst before my feet would almost come off the floor when dropping back, this time with the pada engaged, I felt completely grounded, like the feet weren't going anywhere! The backbend also felt amazing because of it. Soooo good!
So thank you Liz, you've really inspired me and brought another dimension to my practice.! xx