February 11, Monday:

New Moon

(Well, technically it was Sunday, but I planned for Monday.)

February 12, Tuesday:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x

Padangusthasana; Padahastasana

Uttita Trikonasana; Parivritta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana; Parivritta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C, D;  Parsvottanasana.

Uttita Hasta Padangusthasana A, B, C, D; Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana

Utkatasana; Virabhadrasana A & B

Dandasana; Paschimottananasa A, B, C; Purvottanasana

Woke up at 2:30, an the only thing I could think of was how hungry I was. More specifically, I probably woke up at 1 or 2; I tossed and turned, falling in and out, but mostly out, of sleep for quite a while before I finally got up.

Went back to sleep at 3:30, didn’t really begin to fall into deep sleep until 4:30… when the alarm went off. Turned it off, stayed asleep for two more hours. Got up, checked the time, laid in bed, half-asleep, for another hour…

Knocked out of my routine. Procrastinated and didn’t get around to practice ’til 2:45 PM.

I felt a lot more limber than I expected, particularly since I lifted weights stenuously the previous day. The day off did a lot of good. I could completely forward bend, touching my thighs! It also has a lot to do with practicing in the afternoon/evening: I notice a huge difference in flexibility from morning ’til night. That’s normal; I believe you’re most stiff shortly after waking up.

Practice is just really tough right now. Every day is a major struggle. It’s better waking up early and getting it out of the way, because, well, it’s out of the way. I plan on waking up at 4:30 the rest of the week.

February 13, Wednesday:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x

Padangusthasana; Padahastasana

Uttita Trikonasana; Parivritta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana; Parivritta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C, D;  Parsvottanasana.

Uttita Hasta Padangusthasana A, B, C, D; Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana

Utkatasana; Virabhadrasana A & B

Dandasana; Paschimottananasa A, B, C; Purvottanasana

Why was I much warmer today, at 5 AM, than I was yesterday, at 3 PM?

The first Sun Salutation is no fun. Body’s tight. The second one is a lot better. By the third, I’m at 80-85% mobility. Downward dog is so sick. The nuts!

Good practice. Today my head touched the ground on Prasarita Padottanasana A! I cheated a bit but it still got there. The last time I tried to touch the floor, I fell over. Hahahaha! That was 3-4 weeks ago.

February 14, Thursday:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x

Padangusthasana; Padahastasana

Uttita Trikonasana; Parivritta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana; Parivritta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C, D;  Parsvottanasana.

Uttita Hasta Padangusthasana A, B, C, D; Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana

Utkatasana; Virabhadrasana A & B

Dandasana; Paschimottananasa A, B, C; Purvottanasana

I am really proud of myself! I woke up at 4:25 and started practice shortly thereafter, within 10 minutes. I was tired. I wanted to go back to sleep. I wanted to talk myself out of it. But I did it yesterday. I did it today. I can do it! I kept telling myself, “It’ll only get easier, it’ll only get easier…”

I realized it’s not so much that it’s cold (it is — 64 degrees, although in the grand scheme of things that’s not bad at all) but that I’m not fully awake. I don’t become fully awake until the middle of Surya Namaskara B.

I am re-reading The Tree of Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar. What a saint! Incredible book. It’s funny how, most particularly, we take that which is under our nose for granted. I have been studying and reading books on all these other things, but not yoga. There are many yoga books in my queue, of course. I can’t wait to read them! All of Iyengar’s books must be incredible.

Make no mistake: practice is still difficult. But I don’t care. I have it easy. It’s all about perspective. Just do it. The body is lazy. But when directed, it will do what you command. My body particularly; it is more than capable. You are doing it whether you feel like it or not. May as well get it done early.

And my head touched the ground again in Prasarita Padottanasana A! I felt more capable within Purvottanasana, too. Saturday: five or six more poses are added (I forgot). I believe the Janu Sirsasana’s amongst them. I love those! And the marichyasana’s. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

February 15, Friday:

Studio practice with Polina. Ninety minutes. Not the entire Ashtanga sequence, though. Not even close.

Janus is a much better instructor. Just sayin’.

I get bad vibes from Polina. Her energy feels curt. Sapped. Short.

She has to be a fire sign.

After the practice she talked to me about where my practice was at, where I was with the teacher training. Yadda yadda. She gave me some advice, but it felt more like criticism. No biggie. I know what I’m doing and I am comfortable with where I’m at. I’m actually much more comfortable after coming to the studio. I lost perspective at just how much more  advanced personal practice is over studio practice. Studio practice is much more rushed. Three deep breaths in a pose and Polina’s already calling for us to get out of it. Yikes. I hate that!

Personal practice has been challenging because it is challenging. But I’ve been making great gains as a result. I have made a great decision by choosing to start from the beginning of the Primary series and only add poses every couple of weeks.

It’s a marathon, not a race. Studio practice feels much more results oriented. The anti-thesis of everything I value. Little focus on breath, bandhas, drishti. I think it’s mostly just Addicted to Yoga. Liberation Yoga was miles better. But it still didn’t compare to a legitimate personal practice. Being there tempts me to compare my progress. But I will not. I am me. There is no competition.

Either way, I’m pretty much committed to becoming certified at ATY. I won’t let it bring me down. I’m inching closer to resolving to finish up Level 1. I’m almost at the tipping point to decide to do it, but not quite.

Everything happens for a reason. Coming to studio today was a big help. I was impressed at how much a difference drishti points make. I was not tempted to distraction to look at the good-looking young women; there’s always a drishti to be aware of. I was much more focused on my practice. It was all that mattered.

The only major plus studio practice has is that it’s a lot warmer. But I’m hoping that will change soon as Spring comes forth. Then the meditation room should be a good 3-5 degrees hotter.

February 16, Saturday:

None

February 17, Sunday:

Surya Namaskara A & B, 5x

Padangusthasana; Padahastasana

Uttita Trikonasana; Parivritta Trikonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana; Parivritta Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana A, B, C, D;  Parsvottanasana.

Uttita Hasta Padangusthasana A, B, C, D; Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana

Utkatasana; Virabhadrasana A & B

Dandasana; Paschimottananasa A, B, C; Purvottanasana

Physically challenging. Mentally challenging.

Maybe 3-4 weeks ago, I was cruising. I thought I was all good. Wasn’t doing too much to physically or mentally tax me, and my proficiency in poses seemed to improve on a daily basis.

But now it’s getting physically taxing. 45-50 minutes every day is not  a joke. My body is adjusting to the work load. And it’s only going to get tougher. The next 2 months are going to be very important. The only way it will get easier is by doing it every single day.

I went into the reasons in my journal log into why I missed practice yesterday, but you know what? It doesn’t matter. Excuses are bullshit. I didn’t do it. Simple fact. My punishment was accepted by not doing it. All day I thought about it, worried about it.

Today? I did it. It pushed me to my limits. Now it’s out of the way. My day is free. I feel good!

Just do it. You know you have the ability. Your body is fully capable. Your mind is capable. Your soul yearns. Do it.

Tomorrow: Five new poses. Janu Sirsasana’s, Ardha Baddha (seated), and Traika (sp?).

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