Had a damn good practice yesterday, with some extra pranayama at the beginning and the most effortless headstand I've ever done toward the end.  I got my hands on a bunch of yoga DVDs and I've been gifted with access to the Yogaglo library of classes through one of the studios where I teach, so I'm fully stocked on sources of inspiration for the time being.  I've been spending lots of time taking lots of notes and absorbing the teaching styles of some great teachers.

Yesterday, I watched the pranayama segment of Rodney Yee's Advanced Yoga, which was fantastic.  Pranayama is difficult to teach, but he did an amazing job talking through the practice and emphasising the subtle aspects.  I learned a lot about how to interpret the sensations in pranayama, and the balance of posture, mindfulness, and breath.  I did my practice just after watching the video, and had a really lovely pranayama session, incorporating much of what I learned.

In keeping with my efforts to move outside of my comfort zone as of late, I tried my first "timber" vinyasa, or straight drop from a tripod headstand to chaturanga.  This is a delightfully dynamic vinyasa and a helluva good time.  I'm excited to use it more often in my practice.  The inspiration came from a couple of Kathryn Budig's Yogaglo classes.  She made it seem like such fun.  And it was!  I was reminded of the time I decided to try jumping back from Bakasana, thinking there was some elaborate process involved when all there is to it, really, is a little lift.  Often, these things are not as hard as they look if I don't allow myself to think about them too much.  Quiet the mind.

I approached the drop like so:  from tripod headstand, I took a big preparatory inhalation, reaching up through the tailbone and toes, lengthening the whole body.  On the exhalation, I firmed the body, engaging core and thighs, flexed the feet and toes as much as possible, then initiated the drop with the strength of the arms, keeping the body firm as I hinged over in a straight line.  I was a tiny bit worried about crushing a toe, but all went smoothly as I made sure to keep the feet strongly flexed.  It felt very natural and the landing was a happy little moment.

So, the lesson is this, readers:  Try new things.  It's good for you.

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