5.04.2011

Moon Day Musings and a Led Class

After a long day of exams yesterday, it was tempting to take advantage of the moon day and skip out on my practice.  I have never honored moon days, mostly because I don't bother to check when they are, but also because I never used them in my daily practice before Ashtanga, so I don't really see the point of adding them in now.

However, the idea of an extra couple of rest days per month is becoming more and more enticing by the minute.  Ashtanga is hard!  It's an energy-intensive practice.  I have been hit with the feeling of impending collapse more than a few times on my mat, when the juice just runs dry and my arms feel like limp noodles at my sides.  It's a very distinctive feeling.  I used to run long distance, so I know the feeling well.  These meltdowns only happen when refinement is lacking or the pacing is off, but that's a different discussion for a different post.

So instead of taking the day off yesterday, I decided at the last minute to hit up a led Primary at the studio.  I've been avoiding led classes since I went the way of Ashtanga.  I prefer not to feel rushed in my practice, which tends to be the case in led situations.  Also, since I've picked up so much of 2nd series, I haven't wanted to leave that portion out; but yesterday, in the low energy state that I was, I decided that a nice, quick Primary might be just the ticket.  Turns out I was correct.  What fun!

I know it's traditional for everyone to practice Primary only on Fridays, but since I usually practice with T on Fridays, I end up practicing my 2nd series postures as well because she prompts me to.  Consequently, this was the first time I've practiced Primary only in about a month.  It was interesting to notice how much lighter the practice felt, how much more explosive I could be without having to reserve some of that prana for 2nd series.  And while it was true, especially during standing, that I only got about 3 full breaths in any one posture, it was okay because the pace of the practice kept the heat up.  The breath was good, I had a nice, steady sweat going, and it was fun to practice in a more communal environment, feeling the influence of the practitioners on one another. 

Teacher M led the class.  I last practiced with M when he subbed T's class a couple of months ago and whose short-form Primary happened to be my first live exposure to Ashtanga.  He kept a nice, consistent pace throughout the practice and taught to the different experience levels in the room very well.  I received some great adjustments of a different style than those that I would get from S or J (J is the teacher who has taken over S's class) including a new-to-me Down Dog adjustment that emphasized lift and internal rotation of the thighs.  Very nice.  He also let me in on another fun variation to the jump through before Upavishta Konasana, which I will add to the jump back/jump through project video whenever I muster the ambition to put that together.

To make the class even more interesting, a student right next to me was doing a Mysore-style practice instead of moving with the class.  He went through much of, if not all of Primary, and then nearly all of 2nd.  I really enjoyed being next to this guy and feeling the turbulence of his practice.  I've seen him in the evening Mysore classes a few times (I don't recognize faces well, but I do recognize tattoos) and I've always admired his focus and control.  I smiled to myself yesterday as he pounded around in Nakrasana (I cannot wait to get to this pose!) while the rest of us were no doubt enjoying some form of a forward fold.  And I might as well admit to taking a quick peak at his Kapotasana, purely for educational purposes, of course.

Oh, Kapo... I just know I can get my hand to my heels if I can only set it up right.  I'm planning to record my Kapo attempts this week to have a look-see and maybe get some tips from the wise ones (a.k.a. my readers).  Stay tuned for that!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like you had a great led class. For me, I just did 5 Surya As, 5 Surya Bs, and a few standing postures (I can't stop practicing completely even on moon days :-)).

    I wonder how that tattooed guy could focus on his super-long practice in the middle of a led primary class... He must have great pratyahara :-)

    Looking forward to your kapo videos. You have much courage. I still don't dare to film myself doing kapo: I'll probably cringe looking at myself get into it :-)

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  2. Hi Nobel - It was a lot of fun. Very nice to have a nice, easy Primary without having to worry about 2nd series for a change.

    The tattooed guy was very focused indeed. He also has a nice ujjayi, so it's always a pleasure to be in the room with him.

    The Kapo video has been recorded. It's on the way, and it's not pretty. ;-)

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