Sunday, March 10, 2013

Notes from My Practice - Awareness

Wheel Pose (Urdvha Dhanurasana) has always been my nemesis pose and I find it even more so when doing it during the Ashtanga classes.

In the Ashtanga class, the Wheel pose is practiced after we have done the last pose we have been given.    We have to do three rounds of the pose; lifting up and holding in the pose for five breaths for each round.

I am able to lift up and hold in the pose for the 1st two rounds but would need to come down after one or two breaths for the third round.  This is especially so when I have to walk my hands closer to my shoulders after each round before lifting up again and holding in the pose for the five breaths.

As yoga teaches us to be aware of our body, I would  feel either compression in my lower back or pain in my knees when I lift up into the pose.   This has resulted in me dreading to do the pose as I would already anticipate what my body would be feeling when I lift up into the pose.

Today, I decided to place my awareness in keeping my shoulders, elbow, wrists and hands  in alignment when I lift up in the pose in each round after watching the video below by Kino MacGregor.   I found that in placing my awareness onto my shoulders alignment each time I lift up to the pose, I did not feel any pain in my lower back and I could hold the pose for the five breaths

Awareness of our body comes from using it, moving it, feeling it and paying attention to it. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Notes from My Practice - Patience

After almost eight months of practicing Ashtanga with Kunal at Chi Fitness, I was finally given the first pose of the 2nd series, Pashasana today.    I also did dropbacks  with his assistance which I have not done since my former teacher, Azmi Samdjaga left in March 2012.

I have been doing some poses of the 2nd series with Azmi but when I started practicing with Kunal, I had to stop at Navasana as I could only bind in Marichyasana D with Kunal’s help.  I was able to progress further to Bhuja Pidasana when I managed to bind in MD on my own but I was stuck at Supta Kurmasana for some time as I was having problem clasping my fingers  behind my back even with Kunal's assistance. 

Early this year, I was given Garbha Pindasana which I am still having difficulty doing on my own especially rolling backwards and upwards but Kunal had let me continued to do full primary in the class.  

It was a surprise when my Ashtanga buddy, Kathryn, who is having the same problems  in the poses, and I were given Pashasana today.     I am glad to say that I managed to bind in the pose although I needed Kunal’s assistance especially when doing the left side. 

From the Ashtanga class which I only get to practice once a week on Sunday, besides being able to see my progress in my practice, I also learned to be patient as I wait for the next pose to be given to me.    The class also helps to settle and clear my mind to face the week ahead, as I know I will be able to deal with whatever that comes my way with patience and understanding.