I am still off the coffee and not feeling the least bit deprived. Gave the last of my gourmet Costa Rican beans to a friend in need and felt very good about it. Now, just planning to hock my beastly espresso machine for some cash and enjoy this liberation.
Practice this week has been wonderful. Without the caffeine in my system, my energy levels are more sustained. I am more focused. And more patient. Not to mention, I no longer have to stop to use the bathroom during practice. Kidneys and bowels are functioning better.
I have extended my practice to include Primary to Supta Kurmasana before heading into 2nd series. It's longer -- over two hours, even if I avoid rest and experimentation throughout -- but it feels so good. David and Shelley encouraged me to drop Primary last fall -- they said my practice was too strength-driven... my shoulders too big... that 2nd would change that -- so I did. But every time I come back to Primary for whatever reason, my body thanks me. I need Primary. Without it, my QL muscles get too short, limiting the twists, and my hips just don't get the intensive, incremental work they need. Not to mention, Primary keeps me lean. Melted off a couple of pounds just this week with the longer practice.
Second series doesn't have the same fire, not with all the prep work I need for the LBH. Sure, the sweat starts to pour right around Laghu and through the twists, but Eka Pada is like a big, fat cow on the tracks that derails the train. Eka Pada on the right side is good -- 5 breaths up, 5 breaths folding -- as long as I work into it slowly. I start on my back, cradle the leg for a while, bring my ankle to my forehead, then take it behind my head and stay there for a bit before sitting up and taking the posture. It works, it opens my hips, but it also snuffs out any heat I had going on my way into the LBH.
Eka Pada on the left side, and, consequently, the next two postures, are still heavily modified because of the knee. It's healing really well. All lotus postures -- including Urdhva Padmasana -- are go. I was tempted this week to swing the leg back there in Eka Pada just to see what would happen, but I'm taking it slow. Maybe in the coming week.
I have taken my heels every day in Kapotasana, even with all the extra rest and body drama of the previous week. It has become routine, just like that. I think I've probably had the mobility to do it for some time, but only recently figured out the mechanics. (Hint: walk the hands further than you think you need to and keep the head high until you have your grip.) The best part is that it means I only do the posture once per practice.
No Primary today because of the moon day, which makes me even more glad I did so much of it throughout the week. Looking forward to a restful Saturday, complete with big breakfast, long walk, and afternoon oil bath. Wishing you all a great weekend.