Baring my soul about my Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga practise. My thoughts and musings.

21.11.04

Marichyasana D of a day

Well this is my first post. Never really been much of a writer—my creative slant has always been sloping toward the visual. So, if anyone stumbles upon this site please bare with me.
Well yesterday was certainly eventful.
Woke up at my 8:45am alarm, got ready by 9.40am for my Ashtanga class at 9.45am (I know I’m using a lot of times in this post—it’s not because I’m a regimented person, far from it in fact as everyone one who knows me will testify. But all will be come clear later).
I only live around the corner, but 5 minutes is pushing it, as it’s normally 7-minute walk. So I half walked half jogged to the Yoga Studio. I got to the studio to find the door locked.

Ok, now I’m going to have to take you back in time a little while to when I first started going to S’s Ashtanga class. Before then I had been studying Hatha Yoga with E for about a year and a half (sorry for the initials, as I haven’t asked permission to use their names) and wanted to increase the number of times I practiced to 3 classes a week. So E suggested I attend one of S’s classes and see how I go. I was a bit nervous about this, as E is a superb teacher and it felt a bit like betrayal going to another tutor—silly I know as E didn’t mind and they share the same studio anyways. Well I enjoyed the Ashtanga primary series especially the Vinyasa which I had dealt with in E’s classes as her Hatha classes are very much Ashtanga influenced. I turns out S is an fantastic teacher too, though totally different teaching styles—E is constantly driving you on to further more complex postures whereas S follows the more traditional Ashtanga approach that until you can perform a set of posture correctly you cannot move onto the next set.
For me, I think I have found the perfect combination. E’s classes drive me on to further complex postures and amaze me what latent potential the human body has. Where as S’s classes seem to target my weaknesses in my practice namely my stiff hips and shoulders. I’m not sure if had I started S’s classes first I’d have become so hooked on Yoga. My weakness occurs so early in the practice namely the seated series that this may have disheartened me.
I think (and I stress think) E was fortunate enough to be blessed with a lot of natural Yoga ability and as such shows more of a pride in seeing her students perform another more complex pose than seeing the much slower progress it takes to shake off a weakness. Where as I get the feeling that S took the longer path to becoming a superb Yoga teacher and as such knows all the variations necessary to get a student though their weaknesses and notices the minute progress I make in my quest for flexible hips. Their choices of Yoga styles seem to complement their personalities—perhaps we are drawn to the style that most matches our personalities or more probably we’d have dropped it if we hadn’t.
Anyway I digress. You’ll get used to it. I write like I think. When I first started studying with S she would lock the door as soon as she started her practice, which I fully understand. However, not being the most organised of people, a couple of times I’d arrive perhaps a minute or so late and would wander back home dejected and mad at myself for being crap. As I became more keen to go to more lessons S suggested I try and make her early classes in the week, but it was nigh on impossible for me to arrive on time with me working so far away. So as E was around anyway, S would leave the door unlocked during her lesson. I was quiet when I arrived and she said I didn’t disrupt the class, so this was how the arrangement continued.

So, back to the story. I arrived at the studio and tried the door—locked! Not having a watch on I thought to myself, I must have made up the time jogging here at most I can’t be more than a minute late. So I’m about to walk back home crestfallen when E opens the door with a grin widening in time with the door. “You’re an hour early. It’s quarter to nine. You’re welcome to wait here while I set up.”
Shrinking away with a mixture of embarrassment and confusion “Thanks for the offer but I think I’ll head back home—I’m going back to bed”

I headed home, still confused at how I could have got up an hour before the lesson got ready and still arrived an hour early. When I arrived home I found that in my drowsy state the night before that as I had set the alarm I had also managed to advance my clock an hour.

So like “Groundhog Day” I headed off once more to my Yoga class at the correct time. S was grinning from ear to ear­–news travels fast in Yoga studios. So I tried to explain what had happened in a week attempt to hide my embarrassment.

The Ashtanga class went well considering my start. My arms started a little weak but by Surya Namaskar B they had woken up. During my seated poses I tried to work on my Vinyasa, so that I drew my feet through from sitting into plank. But found I was catching the mat and dragging it, so I raised myself onto my fingertips and then found I could just about get through. I discussed it with S and she was concerned about me put all my weight on my fingertips. Her husband R who is also in the class gave a demo as he does it effortlessly. It turns out that part of my problem is that my feet aren’t crossed enough, which is preventing me elevating my legs. Which boils down to my poor hip opening once more. Sharon suggested resting on the pad at the bottom of my fingers as a compromise as this would give me lift and yet prevent injury. It’s trickier as there’s less lift than before, but I’ll persevere.

S thinks that I’ll be able to do Marichyasana D soon on my second side. This may not sound like much, but for me it will be a huge milestone and the result of two and a half years slow progress. It will mean that the other side will follow and then perhaps she’ll take me further through the series and I’ll unlock further poses restricted by my stiff hips.

The rest of the practice sailed by and at the end of the class S stressed to be the importance of practicing Ardha Padmasana at home whenever I get a moment. I know she’s absolutely right; I’ll just have to make a conscious effort.

Well the lesson finished and as I left the class I bumped into E coming in. They were laughing at my early attendance this morning. I blamed the hour fast clock on the plum wine I’d been drinking at ‘Wagamamas’ the night before. It wasn’t the reason but I could hardly blame it on senility at 32. E thought I should take the wine homoeopathically as it would improve my time keeping. I think she may be on to something.

Well I headed back home only to find A, my girlfriend, (it’s lucky everyone so far begins with a different letter) had gone shopping. I looked for my keys. Oh Sh*t, I’ve left them on the bedside table when I went back home after arriving at the studio early.
“Not to worry” I thought, “our neighbour has a key”. So I knocked and picked up the spare. One lock opened but the other the key didn’t fit. Then I remembered, just a few months earlier I had changed the lock as before it had only been a 3-lever lock and our insurance required a 5-lever lock.

The weather was freezing and I thought it would be unwise to hang around so I headed back to the yoga studio to see if I could hang around for a while till A returned.

S came out to see who it was and said, “make yourself a tea and chill out in E’s lounge for a bit”. After three quarters of an hour I headed back home leaving as quietly as I could as not to disturb S’s class.

It was good timing as A arrived around the corner a few minutes later.
It was what I would call a Marichyasana D of a day, but thanks to S & E, I avoided hyperthermia.
After a defrost in the bath we went of to order our new sofa and pick up some chocolates for S & E as a way of saying thanks.