March 18, Monday:

Ashtanga with Polina. It’s a 90-minute class but we only did about 60 minutes, if that. It was a small class and Polina spent a good 20-30 minutes going over various handstands. I wrote down a lot of cues for various poses I’m working on instructing, namely the Prasaritas.

Then I mentored Lindsey’s Beginning Yoga class, beginning at Padangusthasana and ending at Prasarita Padottanasana D. I improved significantly over Sunday’s mentoring, but may have sounded too monotone.

Adjusting your instruction to the level of the class is an art form, one I am attacking with great tenacity. That may be Lindsey’s best strength as an instructor, so I’m glad I’m under her wing.

I biked to and fro from the studio, with my mat, so my body is feeling not quite exhausted.

It is quite nice to practice more of the Primary series on a regular basis. The seated poses are great for opening up your hips and shoulders, two of my tightest areas. My hamstrings are gradually loosening up, but still have a ways to go.

March 19, Tuesday:

Chadd!

Ashtanga practice with Chadd(dddd; shoutouts to Ganondorf).

I learned much from the man. He also invited me to come over and work on adjustments. He’s a pretty awesome guy.

He showed the class a new (to me) transition. You put your leg underneath your shoulder, hands by your hips, and lift either your entire leg (if capable) or leave your foot on the ground and lift the rest of your body.

When you are capable of lifting your entire leg and are flexible enough in your foot to place it over your shoulder, you go into Chaturanga and a Vinyasa from there. So badass!

Oh: I also chatted with the mom of the woman who was in the Beginner’s Yoga class I mentored on Monday. She is authentic Indian, and we chatted about Sri Ramakrishna, Paramahamsa Yogananda, and such. So awesome!

This evening I mentor with Lindsey for two classes.

March 20, Wednesday:

Ashtanga practice. Mentor.

I’m tired. Want to go to sleep.

Suffice to say I did not feel like going this morning. I almost didn’t. But Lindsey gave me a ride. Such a gracious person.

When it’s time to practice, I practice. Halfway through standing sequence I thought about walking out and reading The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna in the waiting room. I confirmed that I would. But then I put it off: let’s do the part of seated sequence up to where my personal practice lay. And then I just kept going, feeling continually refreshed.

So is the nature of yoga. Each pose gives you the strength for the subsequent pose.

A glorious thing. This morning was actually one of my strongest practices. Probably my strongest one since my short hiatus.

Still: I feel I need to listen to my body. A little R&R.

March 21,  Thursday:

Nothing.

Tiffany called to let me know that I have to take a 5-hour class on anatomy in Rancho. Both Saturday and Sunday. Sigh.

March 22, Friday:

Sick Ashtanga practice with Lindsey.

I am transcending the physical! I felt tired, but not as tired as Wednesday. But gratefully, this tiredness has seemed to spur an effortless effort within. I am increasingly capable of the physical aspects of the practice without much tension, stress, effort, etc.

Part of it is me getting in better shape. (Yoga has me in the best shape of my life!) The other part is mental.

I’ve realized the physical is the reflection of the mental. It is a direct symbolization. Truly astonishing!

A flexible mind is preferred to a strong mind. Knawmsayin’?

Chadd is awesome!

Great teacher. Sick attention to detail. But most important is his vibe. He is authentic. Cool, calm and relaxed. He just teaches. Puts on no airs. He’s just a dude leading you through yoga. So friggin’ awesome.

He invited me over and we went through some poses. I learned adjustments. Just as importantly, we vibed. Talking about life. Bonding.

Great day. Humility is awesome.

March 23, Saturday:

Anatomy lecture. Not that bad, not that good. Fairly simple, but did learn a lot. Met new people, made new acquaintances. Vibed with a Gemini. She’s a high school theater teacher. African-American.

Same deal tomorrow. Likely there won’t be practice this weekend. Maybe I’ll go to Juliette’s heated flow tomorrow evening. I’d go to a class this evening but there isn’t one. Then again, nothing’s stopping me from practicing on my own. -shrugs-

March 24, Sunday:

Anatomy lecture part 2.

Learned a lot! Gastrocnemius, trapezius, latissimus dorsi, pectoral majoralis, adductor, brachioradialus, gluteus maximus, tendo calcaneus, and so on and so forth.

Remains to be seen how long I remember this stuff, but as of this moment I have a strong grasp of it.

Basically you learn the major muscles and bones, and practice instructing various poses that have you verbalize the scientific names — “inhale, extending through the sacrum to the top of the cranium,” rather than “inhale, extending through the back.”

Met new people, learned new non-related anatomical things, and so on and so forth.

Back to practice and mentoring tomorrow.

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