Damn good practice last night, in spite of my hunger and resultant irritability. I kept putting off having a decent meal yesterday because I wanted to do yoga before I ate anything substantial. When I finally sat down for pre-practice meditation, I was ravenous, and my man friend chose this time to start frying up some appetizingly aromatic eggs with peppers and potatoes. I was tempted to scrap the yoga until later and join in on the chow, but I persevered, and found my focus by incorporating inhale and exhale retention into my ujjayi pranayama for a few minutes. Soon, I forgot about the food I wasn't eating, and ended up having a really lovely 2-hour practice.
My shoulders were a bit tight at first, so I did some bound standing poses and, later, east stretch, and they opened up nicely. The jump throughs were good today, whereas yesterday I couldn't nail a single one. My legs felt strong, but hips and hamstrings were a little tight, so I did a few pigeon variations, fire log pose, and hanumanasana. Urdhva dhanurasana on the toes was epic last night. My heart was so shiny and open, I would have accepted Jesus Christ as my savior if he had chosen that moment to make his appeal. Headstand was okay. I tried it once, near the wall, and stayed up for about 12 breaths, but had some trouble finding stability. I still can't lift up into headstand gracefully, and it takes a few breaths just to get comfortable. I am making slow but steady progress, however, and I intend to start practicing handstand very soon. I finished up last night with tolasana again. I know I've mentioned it, but I'm really enjoying rounding out my practice sessions with tolasana. It's such a perfect way to prepare for savasana.
As an update, last night was my second practice with the Manduka mat towel. I did not dampen the towel prior to my practice this time, and it did move around a little more, but not enough to really bother me, and I found that the grip was adequate even when the towel was completely dry. I'm very pleased with my purchase.