Sunday practice is always sort of a grab bag. I never really know what I'm going to get until I jump on in there and feel around. I am still on the receiving end of some karmic heckling for my negligence but, thanks to my first oil bath in nearly a month, today's practice was a clear improvement on the shenanigans of last week.
I practiced Intermediate to Pincha. It was nice. Pushed myself to move a little faster through the backbends without all the dawdling I sometimes allow. And you know what? It's easier if I don't stop. I had this realization with the Urdhva Dhanurasana repetitions a good while back and it applies just the same to 2nd series: pump the breath to power through the backbends. It's only when I stop and try to slow the breath and slow the pulse that the nervous repercussions take place. If I try to rest, I start to feel winded and the whole thing is overblown. On the other hand, if I just keep moving, keep breathing, I'm through the whole backbending barrage before I know it and everything is fine. Must try to remember this.
The hips are slowly opening up again, but my shoulders are stubbornly immobilized. Both internal and external rotation is unusually limited. I can't bind anything. I've never had a problem binding Tittibhasana -- at least not within the context of Ashtanga -- but Thursday, all I managed was a desperate, painful clinging of a few fingers and today, not even that. I used my towel.
I don't quite understand it, but I've got loads of tension lingering in my neck and shoulders. I had that tension headache for days after the long drive home from Wisco and a little gremlin has been wandering from right trapezius to left every 2 days ever since. Don't get me wrong; the oil bath on Saturday was magical, my feet and legs feel completely renewed, but the neck and shoulders are still a little messed up.
And, while it's true that I have been indulging more than usual in the food realm, I haven't been eating that much... so why does my belly look distended? It feels as though my metabolism has slowed to a crawl and my entire torso has been inflated. I think I'll blame the weather.