Danda-yam-ana Dha-nur-asana…. rings in my ears like an iambic pentameter of sorts. I have been plateauing in this pose for some time now. And yesterday I started moving out of it, because I hit a new spot. Maybe it’s because I had an instructor who was completely new to me. The class was very different from what I’m used to so I guess that’s a good thing. I felt something new, pulling my foot back behind me. Whatever it was gave me the strength to continue pulling my foot up above my head. But it’s really hard to keep it up there for a full minute! I’m working on my determination for that part. It will happen soon.
Salabasana April 27, 2009
If a pose is easy to do, chances are you aren’t doing it right. I used to think Full Locust pose was a breeze, until I figured out I wasn’t engaging the correct muscles in my back. It’s also due partly to the fact that I lack upper body strength. While this builds strength in your upper spine, does it build strength in your upper body also? Or am I going to have to build that elsewhere, maybe doing that crazy 100 pushups program stellargirl recommended to me light years ago. Two words: why not?? I can do the single leg lifts, but when it comes to lifting both legs, I can barely get them off the floor. I have been patiently shifting the weight around to my shoulders but once I start lifting my legs it all falls apart. I guess I have to work through this more slowly then.
Triangles and Tribulations March 22, 2009
I’ve suspected for a while now that I wasn’t doing Triangle Pose 100% correctly, but that could be true for a lot of poses I do in this series. Triangle is one of the most challenging poses – they don’t call it the “peak of the mountain” for nothing. So a teacher pointed out that my set up wasn’t right the other day. She guided me into the right direction and it seemed to make more sense, at least for the moment. Hips squared to the front? Check. Equal weight distribution between front leg and back leg, check. Bounce down so my leg is parallel to the floor? Well…..I just can’t seem to get this leg down to the floor. And would definitely NOT be able to balance a tray on that leg! For the last few weeks I’ve been called out by various teachers to sit down, sit down and SIT DOWN! I thought I had been sitting down this whole time!!
What is the trick here? It’s in the core, but I’m just now sure how to activate it to keep me in this position. Anyone out there with tips, please send along.
Summer Streets August 23, 2008
The New York City Department of Transportation closed Park Avenue from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park to vehicles this morning in honor of Summer Streets. Cyclists, walkers and runners to took to the streets without the fear of getting squashed. What an amazing feeling it was, to cruise up and down Park Avenue with the wind in my hair! There were a few times I wanted to make audible exclamations while riding… what is that about?? I think I had a big smile pasted on my face the entire ride – ode to the little things that bring so much joy!
On my way back I stopped at the Farmer’s Market in Union Square and thoroughly enjoyed myself by sampling seasonal fruits and looking at all the fresh produce. Strawberries are mighty fine specimens at the moment. I also discovered the beauty of Zinnias – I had never seen them before. The colors are so vibrant and pretty – a nice diversion from the popular Gerber Daisy.
All in all, a great day – I had forgotten how much I enjoy my bike rides. I haven’t gone in a while because I got burned out on my route. There are only so many times you can ride around Manhattan! But riding IN it, is a different story. Such a wonderful feeling of freedom without cars!! Unfortunately, this was the last day for Summer Streets. Back to the dangerous yet exhilerating game of Frogger…
Everybody Wants To Rule The World August 15, 2008
There’s a yoga competition coming up in October where yogis battle it out for the 6th Annual Bishni Charan Ghosh Cup. Yes that’s me in the picture – someday I might sign up and compete for this but for now I’m getting into that cab.
I plan to go and watch the competitors this year because during class it’s very difficult to focus on anything else except for what you are doing at that very moment. Not only are you battling the heat, sweat is coming out of every single pore while you are trying to get everything aligned and in position for your posture. I find when I check out other people’s postures during class it throws my practice way off. It’s a great exercise in concentration, for sure.
The yoga asana competition lasts for 3 minutes and consists of 5 standard Bikram postures in this order: Standing Head to Knee Pose, Standing Bow Pose, Floor Bow Pose, Rabbit Pose and finally Head to Knee with Stretching. After that the contestants do 2 advanced poses of their choice. I found a video from a recent competition to illustrate. I am absolutely captivated by her grace! Don’t try this at home, kids.
Making Progress July 29, 2008
There are some days where the yoga completely kicks my ass and then the following day I have the best class. This week has been the perfect example of that. Today I had to drag myself to class, and once there my stomach was churning from the heat and for a moment I thought I was going to have to get up and get really, really ill. But something happened, I’m not sure what. Something just kicked in, and I had one of the best classes to date. I’ve been working on my Standing Head to Knee Pose for a few weeks now, trying to get my standing leg locked so I can extend my other leg out in front. Today that leg snapped in straight, if not only for a moment!! I wanted to laugh out loud – thankfully I was able to contain myself.
Bikram Yoga, 2 Months In July 10, 2008
I see that my testimonial has been posted to the Bikram Yoga Lower East Side‘s website. It’s interesting to see where I am now, another 40 days after I completed the 30 day challenge. I think I’ve only missed a handful of days since then. It’s become a daily ritual for me and helps me maintain my balance and perspective. I feel like I’ve undergone a metamorphosis, for I am not the same person that walked in there at the end of April. My friends often ask me if I’m interested in teaching, since I’m so passionate about my practice. It’s not something I’m interested in doing at the moment. I’m building my practice right now and as a newbie, I’m still in the mode of discovery. That’s the most interesting thing about yoga, you can do it for your whole life and it will still be a journey of discovery!