Practice last night was amazing as expected. I haven't practiced the whole series for awhile, but I noticed that I moved my feet closer together and got my hands further up my back in Supta Kurmasana. I'm not clasping yet, but it's neat to see the changes.
After Monday nights practice I usually hit up the Stardust Farmers Market with some of my Yogi & Yogini friends. I love a farmers market at night… live music… good food! It's a nice way to wind down the night. Stardust also has some good vegan fare. Last time I got the vegan chili which was awesome! They really give you a lot… I had leftovers for two days! They also layer it…. I was eating it for 10 minutes and then realized that there was rice underneath. It was a pretty exciting moment. Last night I got the vegan quesadillas. I didn't think those were that great. They were calling them quesa-nadas though since they didn't have cheese, which I thought was funny.
While we were all eating we were discussing what our favorite poses were in primary series and then the ones we struggle with. I was trying to think of what my favorite pose was, and I had a hard time answering that question. In Ashtanga, I really love the practice as a whole. It's not really the asanas, but the breathing, the meditation, the way I feel when I am in them, and the way I feel after practice. I also get this energy when I am practicing that I is totally new. I can be tired and sometimes I even try to talk myself out of practice, but once I get there and hop on the mat I all of the sudden forget that I was tired. I have this energy that takes me through the whole practice and I even feel it after. Maybe that is the Prana I am feeling?
Aside from saying that, I can say there are poses that I do struggle with, or are not very comfortable for me. For example… Upward Bow. In my first backbend I feel a little weak in the feet and lower legs. I am not totally sure why, but I think it might have to do with how my weight is distributed. When my feet are adjusted to the proper form (heels out, toes in) my feet tend to feel a little weak. It's probably because my feet are not used to being in that position and holding my body up that way. The first time I was told to turn my heels out I actually had to bring myself down. I can hold myself up now, so I guess I'm adjusting and getting stronger. I do six backbends to start with. The first three are normal, and then the next three I walk my hands in more each time… with my 6th being the deepest. I hold each one for five breaths. After that I work on drop backs which I think I enjoy more than laying on my back and pushing myself up. I really feel like I am almost to the point of bringing myself up on my own, but not so much going back and catching myself from standing. I did gymnastics all growing up, but this type of backbend is much different than a gymnastic one. The interesting thing is that as much as I feel like I am struggling in this asana, I look forward to it everyday, and once I started doing more and intense backbends my body and energy has been different. I don't know how to explain it, but it's like I have this added energy and I feel lighter.
Besides upward bow there are other backbends in Ashtanga. Second series is made up of many backbends which are much different than upward bow. In Some of them, you start on your knees and bend back and grab your heels, or you bend all the way back so your head is on the floor and your forearms are on the ground and your hands are walking in and reaching for your feet. Others you are on your stomach and you reach back with your arms and grab your feet and pull your body up. I love the backbends in second series.
On another note, I do really like practicing arm balances! Those might actually be my favorites!
Have a wonderful night and day!