Primary Friday: Mindfulness and Krounchasana

What is it about Fridays that is always so satisfying?  This morning I was lucky enough to sleep in and drink a leisurely cup of coffee in the morning sunshine.  For a brief moment, I considered saving my practice for the Friday afternoon Mysore with T, but I've grown fond of doing the asanas in the morning, if for no other reason than that it's nice to get it over with and move on with my day.

Primary was delightful.  I had nowhere to be, so I didn't have to cut any corners.  I enjoyed working into the details of the postures and exploring some fun things that I don't always have the time or patience for.  My hips were still nice and open from my Vinyasa practice yesterday so my lotus was especially effortless.  The hamstrings, on the other hand, have been cranky for days.  The right side, particularly, has pained me since Wednesday.  I can stretch it out as much as I like but it still feels tight.  It's interesting to note that, today, the tension seems to have travelled up and around to my right glutes.  Immediately after my practice this morning, I felt the whole side knot up.  I'm not sure what caused this but, as usual, I have a theory:  I've been demonstrating too many postures in class.  If and when I demonstrate or do a portion of the sequence with my students, I only do it on the first side -- the right side -- because by the time we get around to the second side, the students know what they're doing.

I try to remind myself not to do this, but I'm so out of my own body when I teach that I hardly feel anything.  As much as I can be, I'm in my students' bodies (that sounds odd as I read this, but I think you know what I mean).  I try to feel the practice as they might be feeling it, judging from the cues in the room.  It prevents distraction and keeps the practice alive, but I worry that I'll injure myself jumping into a posture that I'm not warm enough or sensitive enough to do.  More mindfulness is needed.  More mindfulness and more Krounchasana.

Instead of drop backs today, I played with Urdhva Dhanurasana in some different ways.  I started with the usual set of three, exhaling down to the crown of the head and walking the hands in every five breaths.  Then I came down to rest for five.  Then I went back up for a long hold and walked my hands in every five breaths.  After twenty breaths of that, I could actually see my shins.  Hell, I was in so deep I could see between my shins and look out the window in front of me.  After that, I came down for a couple of breaths, then went back and up and played with Eka Pada (one-foot) and Eka Hasta (one-hand) Urdhva Dhanurasana.  It was fun to break up the backbending routine and revisit some things I haven't touched on in a while.

As always, I'm glad to see Saturday just around the corner.  I look forward to the late morning, the dedicated rest, and the oil bath, of course.  I've been taking a weekly castor oil bath for the past month and it's been really wonderful.  Seems to put everything back in order and get me ready for the week ahead.


  1. Mmm, castor oil bath sounds like the perfect weekend kick-off... I just googled it - sorry to be hogging all your practices, haha... hope you don't mind!

    I spent some time browsing your back-catalogue of posts: what a treasure trove! I'm sure it will help me move further with my practice. So far I've decided to work on the back of my legs - the post on seated forward bend was an eye opener. Hope you have a nice weekend :-)

  2. I found when I was teaching a lot I had to become much more mindful about my demonstrations. First I trained myself to always demonstrate on my weaker (left) side, which was really good for strengthening me up! But if I was teaching more than one class in a day, I would make sure to demonstrate on opposite sides to balance it out, for just the reasons you describe!

  3. Hi Anne - Take as much as you want from the blog! That's what it's here for. I'm so glad you're finding it helpful. The castor oil baths are like magic. I'm not exactly sure how it works, but once I get the oil on, any areas of my body that have been tense or closed off get very hot, then the tension releases and when I'm done, I'm light, happy, and loose as goose. Kiki Flynn has a pair of fantastic oil bath videos on youtube in which she explains the purpose and history. You should check those out if you haven't already. Here's the link: http://youtu.be/YCBkrtpMCbM

    La Gitane - That's a good idea, demonstrating on your weaker side. I'd like to simply demonstrate less, but sometimes the students just need to see it.

  4. Hahahaha, she is hilarious. AND I want her hair...thanks for the link ;-)

  5. I know! Isn't her hair amazing?!