February 18, Monday:

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

Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana; Trianga Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana

Janu Sirsasana A, B & C

Wooooooooooooooo!

I slept in ’til 6:30. Didn’t go to sleep til 9, not because of any kind of debauchery, but simply the luck of the cards.

But I vowed yesterday to attack this practice, and every one for the foreseeable future, with renewed vigor. It is not intrinsically challenging. I set those limits. I make it challenging. I can change this reality any time I choose. So now I make it fun. Effervescent.

There was no rush. This was like back in the day, when I was only doing a couple of poses. The Surya Namaskaras alone took a long time. Five deep, long breaths. Feeling the entirety of the pose. Explore the pose. Find the comfort within the uncomfortableness.

Suffice to say I was piping hot, dripping sweat by the beginning of Surya Namaskara B. That’s when you know it’s going to be a special practice.

There was so much sweat on the mat it was a bit slippery by the time the Prasaritas came. Prasarita Padottanasana A: am I spreading my legs too far? Must redouble my efforts to understand each pose.

Uttita Hasta Padangusthasana A, B, C & D are challenging when my left leg is the one doing the balancing. Seems my right leg is more stable. (Standard; I am right-handed.) Keep those bandhas engaged!

The Warrior poses — Virabhadrasana A & B — are no joke. Well, I’ve always liked B quite a bit, but A is a unique kind of torture. Pulling those bandhas in is intense!

Dandasana and Paschimottanasana A, B and C are some of my favorite poses. Purvottanasana is not as scary to me as it used to me. It’s a good mix between taxing and refreshing. Getting those bandhas engaged, hips engaged towards the sky, feet touching and flexed, shoulders extended, head back… a lot of moving parts!

February 19, 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

Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana; Trianga Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana

Janu Sirsasana A, B & C

Woke up at 4:25, started by 4:35. Took about an hour. 🙂

I may be adjusting, physically, to the standing sequence. Such a transition: Surya Namaskara A & B are, still, by far the most physically challenging to me; then the standing sequence is about 80% as tough as the Sun Salutations; and then it’s not the physical that’s so challenging but the mental acuity and focus, the presence of bandhas, in the Primary Series.

Not to imply my practice on the Primary Series is particularly advanced. I can get into the proper poses, without any modifications, but just barely re: ardha baddha, trianga and janu.

Back in November I set a goal to be able to perform full lotus by the new year. I may have achieved that if I never slowed down my practice, but hindsight has shown it to be overambitious. But now it’s coming along well. Almost comfortable in half lotus. My hips and hamstrings have opened up quite a bit!

February 20, 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

Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana; Trianga Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana

Janu Sirsasana A, B & C

Cold morning. Couldn’t get warm enough for a great practice. Body felt like wet cement. Bleh. Oh well. I stuck with it. The quote that you’ll never rise higher than your thoughts stuck with me. I need to cultivate more positive thoughts. In the warrior poses today I particularly succeeded. I am a strong warrior. I can do this. I will do this. I am doing this. … Instead of constantly focusing on how hard and uncomfortable this is, how much I want to quit, how much I’m looking forward to when it’s over. Today is a new me! Plus, every practice is different. Don’t bring yesterday’s practice into today’s.

February 21, Thursday:

Practiced at ATY. 90 minutes. Did my personal practice sequence on my own, separate from the rest of the class. Did seated poses up until Marichyasana, at which point we did some handstands, Navasana… Yadda yadda.

February 22, Friday:

None

February 23, Saturday:

None

I believe this is the first time, since I started, I’ve gone two consecutive days without practicing.

Not sure what to think about it. On one hand I don’t feel nearly as guilty about it in the past. That’s growth. On the other hand, it is a cliche to feel you’ve broken though a wall, only to stop doing what got you to that point.

Monday’s a Full Moon, which means a fasting day, a day of no practice. But you know what? I feel good about this.

The “cause” of this effect was primarily sleeping at midnight on Friday. Lesson learned. It’s funny, language is: I learn lessons but to varying degrees. Maybe lesson heeded is more accurate?

But this time I’ve learned it. The bedtime rituals, waking up at 4:30 or earlier, and practicing yoga right after? They are holy. They must be consecrated. They are connected. Unified.

I have also decided to cut back my lifting to one day a week again. I had been feeling a bit iffy, antsy, and guilty ever since I decided to lift two times a week. It feels predominantly for ego, not health, purposes. I am trying to rush the process. As a result, it feels unsustainable.

And, coincidence or not, things have seemed to be less consistent ever since I attempted that second day a week. Nathaniel stopped showing up; I missed more yoga practices; yoga practice was less enjoyable, due to the stress surrounding whether or not I’d be sore from lifting, or how I would afford the extra food that another day of lifting requires.

So I’m three days in to practicing up to Janu Sirsasana. Might stick with the 10, or maybe go with 15. Been toying with it in my head. Honestly, I’m thinking 15. I want to savor this.

I slept in ’til 6 today. Then went back to sleep around 9. Suffice to say I feel like I reset my sleep schedule (in a good way), making up for the sleep I lost due to Friday night. Tomorrow morning: 4:30am. And I mentor with Lindsey tomorrow!

February 24, Sunday:

None

No mentoring. Woke up at 12,:30 didn’t get back to sleep ’til 4:30. Slept most of the day away. No yoga. No nuthin’.

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