|Check out the feet-splaying action on that guy in the foreground. Feet parallel, soldier!|
The standing sequence was wonderful. I'm really beginning to love this series. It's heating, but not exhausting, and my hips and hamstrings feel amazing by the time I vinyasa to the floor. The seated poses were pretty great, too, but the vinyasas were a flop. Jump backs were completely feeble. I could not swing my feet through my arms to save my life. I have no idea what the problem was. It may have been that I was rushed and going for accurate breath counts over finesse, but I have not had that much trouble jumping back since I first started employing them in my practice.
Kurmasana was improved this week. I think I've figured out a better way into the pose. I've been going about it all wrong, in too much of a rush to get the legs straight. This time, I let the knees remain bent and worked them up toward the shoulders before flattening out into the full pose. My heels lifted easily without causing any pain in the elbows. Bhujapidasana was better, too, but still kind of a mess. I botched the Tittibhasana-Bakasana exit, but that was to be expected based on my temporary total lack of core strength. I felt like I'd put on fifty pounds and never done Navasana in my life.
And to top it all off.... I have my first Ashtanga injury! That didn't take long, did it? Must have been the cold. I pulled the upper fibers of my right trapezius in the transition from Supta Konasana. I was focusing hard on contracting the traps to support the back of my neck, an action that has always been difficult for me, and somehow in the transition from the reclined pose to the vinyasa, I hurt myself. First, I felt a little shift as I lifted up to jump back, and then an intense heat in my right neck and upper back. Oops. I paused to assess the situation and probe the area a bit, checked the mobility of my right shoulder and neck. There was some discomfort accompanying rotation and flexion of the cervical spine, but the shoulder was fine. I decided the pull was minor and carried on.
Finishing was fine. Backbends felt great. I was careful with the injury. Skipped Urdhva Padmasana and Pindasana. Almost skipped Sirsasana, but I love this pose and figured I'd feel it out and bail if it didn't feel right. On the contrary, it was comfortable and stable, completely meditative. I was worried it would strain the neck further, but I didn't notice the injury in this position at all.
After practice, I was all set to jump in a long, hot shower and self-massage my sore neck, only to find that a pipe had burst somewhere in the apartment complex earlier in the day, limiting the water supply and completely eliminating hot water. No hot water? I stood there, confused, sore, and freezing in my damp yoga clothes, my poor muscles getting tighter and tighter. I deliberated whether or not to take a cold shower, then decided against it. I washed my face and went to work in my yoga sweat, frizzy, unshowered, and unable to turn my head to the right side. Ahh, yoga.