It’s the third day of YoMo, and I’m doing fine. My husband has taken yoga classes a couple of times but found it insufficiently fast and competitive. However, he’s having back trouble, and he asked me to get him started with a short yoga routine.
I’ve practiced with him for two days now. We did Virasana (hero), Adho Mukha Virasana (downward facing hero), Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog), Uttanasana (standing forward bend), Malasana (garland), Jathara Parivartanasana (turning the belly), and Savasana (corpse). I had to restrain myself from adding more, because I want the practice to be easy and straightforward so he’ll keep doing it.
During my morning practice yesterday I wrote myself several notes about things to write about relative to YoMo. I’ll be writing a couple of emails a week to participants who signed up to practice yoga every day during the month of June, and I’ve been thinking about what to say. My desk is a big mess and now I can’t find the notes.
I keep my yoga space very neat. I have a cabinet for my props, and I keep the floor clear to make it easy to get started without any fuss. My desk is another matter entirely. Maybe that should be part of my yoga practice this month: the yoga of daily living.
On the other hand, maybe I should be kinder to myself. The notes will turn up. And I just remembered one of the things I was going to write about.
When we did YoMo in January, I chose two poses that are really hard for me to work on during that month – Upavistha Konasana (seated wide angle) and Supta Virasana (reclining hero).
Supta Virasana improved enormously, as I’ve described recently. Upavistha Konasana, not so much. So during this June YoMo I’m going to work on it some more, and I’m going to add Parivrtta Trikonasana. In that pose I have trouble staying upright, trouble twisting enough, trouble keeping my hips in the right place, oh, just trouble all around.
This method works well for me. I really like delving into one pose and paying attention to every aspect of it. I am also always delighted by my improvement.
I just don’t know about Upavistha Konasana. My hips have a lifetime of stiffness. I’ll keep trying, though.
I went for a walk this morning, and then came home and did an hour of yoga before breakfast. In addition to my two bugaboo poses I’m practicing (almost) every day (Upavistha Konasana, seated wide-angle, and Supta Virasana, reclining hero), I generally do Trikonasana (triangle) and Uttitha Parsvakonasana (extended side angle). Yesterday I did as many other standing poses as I could think of, including the revolved versions. Those revolved versions are so hard for me that I rarely do them, which is all the more reason to do them. Today I didn’t have time for as much, but I’m going to try to do a variety of additional standing poses every day. Today I did Virabhadrasana II (warrior II), Parsvottanasana (intense side stretch), and Prasarita Padottanasana (wide angle forward bend).
And then later in the morning we watched our new president being sworn in. A very good day so far.
Ooh, I’ve just got to keep up! On Wednesday I didn’t practice in the morning, but I went to Ageless. The class was excellent. A brand new student was in the class, and as a result Kim helped her quite a bit, leaving us in very long holds. I try hard not to come out of the pose before the teacher says, but that bent front leg in Parsvakonasana (extended side angle) and in Virabhadrasana II (warrior II) was just going to crumble so I had to pop back up. That’s one thing class is very good for – working you hard. I never seem to work as hard at home as I do in class, and I don’t know why.
I did my focus poses – Upavistha Konasana (seated wide angle) and Supta Virasana (reclining hero) – as TV poses. Better than not doing them at all.
Yesterday was another zoomy day with waaaaaay too much computer time, so I did Savasana for ten minutes before dinner. (Just a question: My office door is closed. Doesn’t that mean another family member should not open it?)
Today my sister Priscilla and my friend (and massage therapist) Dana are coming over to do a restorative practice with me. This is something I’m trying to do every Friday afternoon. We did it last week, with two additional people. Very nice.
Hehehe. I guess I’m a little behind on my posting every day. I’m not behind on yoga though, goody.
On day 5, I tore off to Kansas City in the morning and was there all day. When I got home I had numerous things to do, so I just wedged in a 15 minute savasana between walking the dog and dinner. That was something I wouldn’t have done without the YoMo incentive. Then later in the evening I did TV yoga: Upavistha Konasana and Supta Virasana. TV yoga barely counts as far as I’m concerned, but I didn’t have time or energy for more, and it does mean I got in my two poses.
Yesterday I had time early in the morning. Nice practice. I do find that when I practice first thing in the morning I am sometimes a little dizzy and tippy in standing poses, so I did them against the wall.
That early morning practice is a great start to the day. It just sets me up.
I’m going to have to write a post about obstacles to home practice at some point. I encountered several today – baking bread, taking down the Christmas tree, checking email, and so forth. So my practice time was abbreviated, which revealed a flaw in my stated YoMo intentions.
It’s no big deal to do one of my intended daily poses – Upavistha Konasana (seated wide angle) – apart from the struggle to stay upright. It goes better if I do some prep poses, but if I’m in a hurry I can just wedge it into the practice.
On the other hand, Supta Virasana requires, no, demands preparation from me. It’s such a hard pose for my inflexible hips and legs and back that I have to do Virasana at the very least, and a couple of lunges help a lot, and Parsvakonasana gets my hips stretched out, and so on. Then when I get into the pose I have to stay in it long enough for my knees to eventually drop to the ground, and at that point it’s silly to pop right out of it. So the pose itself takes as much as ten minutes, five on each side because I do it Eka Pada – one leg bent in front of me and one in Virasana – to protect my low back.
That doesn’t even count the time to haul out all my props.
In my capacity as YoMo cheerleader I can’t renege on my intentions, can I?
On the plus side, even after doing it for just four days, I can see a difference. Today I only needed one blanket on top of the bolster. I’m still using my large bolster, but I bet I’ll get down to the smaller one soon. This is a far cry from my early yoga classes, where I needed a pyramid of three bolsters and a lot of self-talk to get down into this pose.
So far so good on practicing Upavistha Konasana (wide angle) and Supta Virasana (reclining hero) every day. Well, yeah, it’s only the third day, but still, I’m happy about it.
This morning’s practice was more energetic than I’ve been doing recently. I can finally do some sort of Adho Mukha Svanasana (down dog) version regularly, for the first time since the onset of Lyme arthritis last March. (I hope I didn’t say the same thing last fall.) It’s a very nicely energetic pose, just about as expansive as Uttitha Parsvakonasana (extended side angle).
I’m going to try to post every day about YoMo. This might be a little boring, but it’s a way for me to track what works and what’s changing.
I didn’t get up early to practice. Instead, several friends came over in the early afternoon, and we did a restorative practice together. We held all poses for a long time. The ten-minute Savasana (corpse) was excellent. The length of my Savasana makes a difference in how I feel after any practice, i.e., not just restorative.
I’ve been busy the last couple of days, getting YoMo materials organized. Last January I did WoYoPracMo, or World Yoga Practice Month. You sign up online to commit to practicing yoga every day for the whole month. WoYoPracMo was quite successful, and the organizers decided to do it every month. For me, that wasn’t, hmm, compelling enough. It was more effective as a kick in the pants for me to have a month set aside for this. Silly, I suppose, because yoga isn’t goal-oriented, and the idea of a yoga challenge is not very yoga-like either, but there it is.
So I asked the owners of the Yoga Center of Lawrence if we could have our own local yoga practice month. They liked it. We’re doing it in January. You can read about it on the YCL site.
We’ll be sending out encouraging emails and announcements, and we’ll have a celebratory potluck on February 1.
Just so you know, you don’t have to be a student at the YCL to sign up. You don’t even have to be a resident of Kansas.
Oh yeah, one more thing I haven’t mentioned in any of the materials I’ve been writing: The purpose is to get our home practices to be constant and regular. So even though YoMo is over on January 31, 2009, our home yoga practices shouldn’t be.