In the spirit of my plans to absorb as much Yoga Today knowledge as I can in my remaining month of membership, I took two classes this afternoon. The first was called "A Twist in Perspective," a "yogi" level class led by Adi. It was a really good ashtanga-based class, starting out with I think 8 surya namaskaras, which I appreciated. I need a lot of time to warm up, and really miss the salutations when they are foregone or abbreviated in a class. Lots of twisting, as the name suggests, and I needed it. I've been partaking in some less than honorable foods this week, and my gut has not been appreciative. One thing to note, though: the class was incredibly fast paced at times. Easing my way into a pose on a good long exhale, I found Adi was already cuing the next asana before I had reached full expression in the previous one. I may have been moving slowly, though. My hips hips were especially tight, so I was proceeding with more caution than usual.
The second class was a "guru" level class also led by Adi entitled "Hip Openers," going after that tension in my hips a little more. This was a really fun class, which I've taken before. It includes a prasarita padottanasana to tripod headstand to bakasana and back through tripod to prasarita padottanasana flow, which is an interesting challenge during the standing sequence. During the seated sequence, there is a compass to astravakasana to eka pada koundinyasana II flow, which is something I've worked on a bit since the first time I took the class. I am pleased to report that I was able to tuck my foot under and flow into EKP II without touching the floor on both sides. It's the symmetry that I obsess over most. If I can't do an asana on either side, it can easily be dismissed for a while. If it's just one side that fails, I just can't leave it alone. The class ended with two repetitions of bridge pose, about 5 breaths each, which was good because the first class had no big backbends, come to think of it.
Both classes offered plenty of opportunities for jump throughs and jump backs. My jump throughs are getting pretty smooth, and the seated jump backs I've been practicing with the wide arms are really coming along. I can't believe the progress a few practices have made. I might actually be able to do it right one day.
Overall, it was a good practice. Coming back to another standing sequence after spending some time on the floor in the first class was a different kind of challenge, but it was fun to mix things up a bit and take an experimental approach.