Today was my first day of doubling up on the yoga: a class in the afternoon, and a self-led practice in the evening. Both were pretty damn good.
The class was packed. We were instructed to line up our mats no wider than six inches apart to accommodate everyone. There was an additional instructor walking around helping with adjustments. I received several good ones: a child pose hip squish, a downward dog pull, a really good active warrior II arm and shoulder adjustment, and some help with hip positioning in trikonasana. We did some interesting work with natarajasana during the standing sequence, transitioning from natarajasana to warrior III. It was a good strengthening class with lots of longer holds in plank and plank variations: one-legged plank, core plank, one-legged-one-armed plank... you get the idea. Again, there wasn't much of a seated sequence to speak of. We did some navasana stuff, but not even one seated twist. I'm beginning to wonder if they're just unpopular with students, so teachers at this studio don't teach them. These aren't beginners classes we're talking about here.
Going into my home practice later in the evening, I thought I might be tired from the class and decided ahead of time I'd head the restorative route if things felt askew. No need. I had an amazing full practice, including a really nice 20 minute meditation. I felt comfortably grounded, my shoulders were open, my hamstrings were long, and the jump backs were happening in slow motion with that little extra lift in the hips on the way back. I was feeling so good, I had a little chuckle during my practice when it occurred to me that this might be the secret: doing yoga before I do yoga. Constant rather than consistent asana practice. Sheesh. I hope not. Who's got the time?
There's just one thing that's bothering me. There's this twinge in my back. I've mentioned it before. It's this weird little thing on the right side of my lumbar spine that kind of clicks and/or crunches when I counter any intense backbending work with a forward fold. It is not painful, but I can feel something there when I explore the area with my hand. Again, there is no pain involved which, for some reason, I find especially worrisome. I need to feel it to understand it's nature... instead it just makes a strange noise when I enter paschimottanasana. It's all very mysterious. Some grand new opening, perhaps? Let's hope so.