Swenson Adventure: Days 3 & 4

Whew!  It's been a rough four days getting used to these 5am wake-ups.  I have never been an early riser, much to my regret.  My hope is that these two weeks of morning practice will help me develop a nice routine or, at the very least, lessen my aversion to the "early to bed, early to rise" mentality.  As it stands, I can't seem to get to sleep before midnight, which is fine when I don't need to wake up until 8 or 9am.  It's not so fine when I need to be up and on my mat before the sun even thinks about starting it's day.

I had feared that crack-o-dawn practice would differ significantly from my usual mid-day time on the mat.  Most seem to say they are stiffer in the morning, have a tough time getting the blood flowing, feel more prone to injury, but beyond a little stiffness in the first couple of Suryas, I haven't noticed much difference in flexibility or strength.  In fact, I really like doing practice first thing.  My mind is quiet, my body is light, and my sweat, though a deluge, seems somehow cleaner than in the afternoon.  Plus, the absolute joy of a good shower and a big breakfast after practice is something I have grown to appreciate already.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of sharing a post-practice meal with the esteemed Patrick of Ashtanga Yoga and Stuff who happens to be in town for the full two weeks of Swenson.  Meeting my first blog buddy in person?  How exciting!  We had a great time chatting like schoolgirls over coffee about yoga and blogging and blogging about yoga.

To be honest, I don't remember much about my practice the past couple of days.  Ruminating on ideas for this post, I recalled jotting some things down in my notebook last night.  Hoping to find a wellspring of remembered observations, when I checked my notes, I found all I had written down was "Swenson Day 3. Good practice."  Ha!  Maybe it's the lack of sleep.

I do know that I haven't been adjusted in Kapotasana since Monday, but I have gotten those perfect Supta Kurmasana adjustments every day.  They make it seem so easy, so comfortable and secure.  My back has been a little resistant to the deep backbending these past couple of days.  My low back is sore, which is rare.  I'm sure it has to do with insufficient sleep.  Nonetheless, I've been able to take hold of the mid-foot in Kapo A and even Kapo B wasn't too shabby this morning. 

Today I signed up for two additional workshops I'd had my eye on that Swenson is conducting while he's here.  Instead of rest on Saturday morning, I'll be at a guided exploration of Intermediate.  Then on Wednesday night, there's a workshop entitled "Through the Eyes of the Teacher," which will apparently involve some hands on adjustment instruction.  Looking forward to these!


  1. Hello! I'll see you at both workshops, by the way. Yes, mid-foot in Kapotasana, that adjustment is *freaking awesome*. I'm hoping for more of them during the rest of the two weeks not so much to "get" the pose but just because I enjoy the adjustment that much :D

    Hah, and yes, yoga schoolgirls, all making faces and mimicking contortions in our diner chairs. Awesome.

    I ran all the way up through Eka Pada this morning, and the Intermediate poses felt So Much Better than Primary (which I only chased up through Navasana) but the heavy Primary is probably the reason for the lighter Intermediate. Perhaps one gets lighter as the poses get harder; I mean, this would explain why you're on your hands for like 2/3 of the Advanced A maybe....

    Ok, babbling now concluding :D

  2. Love reading this. You are so clearly enjoying this experience!

  3. Patrick - The Kapo adjustments are indeed epic. I waited patiently for mine today. ;) Just trying to let the muscle memory soak in as much as possible so I can MAYBE one day get there on my own. Your post-Kapo thumbs-up yesterday made me chuckle. It feels like so much has happened, it's hard to believe it's only been five days. Looking forward to a nice Primary tomorrow.

    Dottie - It's really fantastic. Swenson was my first teacher in that his book was my first exposure to yoga, so this experience has a homecoming sort of quality for me. I am loving it.

  4. I've been lurking, following your blog for awhile, and finally decided to post and let you know how much I enjoy it. I have been doing yoga for several years, and my true love is ashtanga, thanks to David Swenson's Primary Series dvd. I will be taking a class at a weekend workshop of his in a few months, so I am particularly enjoying your detailed accounts of your "Swenson Adventure."- Brenda

  5. Hi Brenda - Thanks for coming out of the shadows and taking the time to leave a comment. David is so great. You are sure to enjoy his weekend workshop.