Practice last night was strange. I have not been eating well this week; the boyfriend and I have been indulging with one another. First, a dinner of margaritas, fajitas, and salsa aplenty on one night, then pizza and beer the next. Delicious and thoroughly enjoyable, but not at all appreciated by my poor digestive system. On my way to the shala, my gut began to rumble and squeak in the most ominous way. I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say I considered turning around and skipping practice altogether. Instead, I convinced myself it would be fine once I started to move and decided I might have to let T know that if I bolted from the room crying, it wasn't her fault.
As it turned out, I was fine (thank goodness). Once I got through the first few Surya, things seemed to quiet down in my belly but I was left feeling sort of heavy and cold. Practice was held in a different room this week due to some special event taking place in the studio. It was surprisingly disorienting to be in a new room, with mirrors and people placed at odd angles all around me. It took me a while to settle my drishti and not get distracted by the close quarters of the smaller room.
T left me more or less alone, with the exception of an early Down Dog adjustment, until Supta Kurmasana when she helped me get my hands bound and brought my feet closer together. For a while there, I was easily binding my hands on my own in this pose. At some point, that easy bind went away and I either have to work very hard to get the fingers hooked or I just pretend I'm bound as my fingertips extend toward each other. This may have something to do with the margaritas, fajitas, pizza, and beer. I'll try to take it easy with the food this week and see if I can bring it back.
Unsure whether or not S had already made contact with T about where I'm at with 2nd series, I forged ahead from Bhekasana with Dhanurasana, Parsva Dhanurasana, Ustrasana, and Laghu Vajrasana in spite of the fact that T has not, as yet, given me these poses herself. She didn't seem to mind terribly, and came by to supervise as I moved through the backbends. Laghu is an interesting pose; it feels amazing on my quads and it's not bad to come into or to hold, but the exit is tricky. I have not yet been able to pull myself back up without assistance or, for lack of helping hands, resorting to hideous gyrations. T showed me a couple of ways to work on this without beaching myself in the full pose.
T made a point of letting me know that, since I'm taking it all the way to Laghu, I can start my 2nd series poses after Navasana. Frankly, I'd rather not, but I do feel bad when my practice runs over two hours and S or T have to stick around to help with the the 2nd series stuff. I'll probably do as she suggested when I attend Mysore sessions but continue with full primary plus the 2nd series poses at home.
I'm getting more and more excited about practicing with Swenson in June -- that's two weeks of morning Mysore and pranayama with David and his wife, Shelley. Though I don't know anything about Shelley's teaching style, S has an obvious affinity and respect for her. She mentions her fairly often and has said that Shelley's approach is the perfect compliment to David's presentation. There are a number of workshops being offered by the pair throughout these two weeks. I haven't signed up for any of them yet, but there is a Nadi Shodana workshop that is calling my name:
"Nadi Shodana Practitioners' Clinic: David will lead a guided exploration of the Second Series of Ashtanga yoga, starting with an introduction of its inherent dynamics. There will be a variety of options given for each posture in order to allow students to practice appropriately. This class is designed for students who have a full Primary Series practice, and at least a partial Second Series practice."By the time late June rolls around, I should be primed and ready for further 2nd series exploration. I like the sound of an introduction to the "inherent dynamics" of the practice, and it might be helpful to learn a number of modifications for the poses, as I don't think my knees will be lotus-ready any time soon. It sounds like something that could have helped me a lot when I first started to practice Primary. It took a while just to grasp to the energetics of the series and learn the appropriate pacing. I'll probably sign up for this as soon as I can will myself to detach from the cash.