It was a fun yule tide, wasn’t it? All that feasting and sitting and feasting and sitting. I have to say that my personal practice has taken a back seat between the holidays, three jobs, and teaching more classes. Teaching classes for me does not equal practice, because I actually teach. In yesterday’s class I was teaching twisting poses, and realized that my practice has been sorely lacking. Today, I had a gap in my schedule that allowed me to sneak in some asana time at the studio.
For the first half hour of practice, I used the rope wall just to elongate my spine in Adho Mukha Svanasana and Uttanasna and address my tight hamstrings. I then hung in rope Sirsasana for a few minutes. That felt wonderful.
A good self practice is much like improvisational jazz music. You start with a theme and realize variations in that theme and go with it. What started out as back pain perceived from my tight hamstrings led to realizations of tightnesses in my groins and hips. I did a long supta padangusthasana I and II, ardha baddha padmottanasana and eventually wound up in Matsyasana. My groins cried.
I finished with this chair Sarvangasana cycle that utilizes baddha konasana.
There is the famous saying “physician, heal thyself.” That applies even more to yoga teachers. I felt a profound relief after my practice, not just physically, but emotionally. My jobs are quite stressful and I am holding much of that stress in my body. My mentoring teacher Ray says that for every hour you teach, you should be doing double in your own practice. For me, that translates into 9 hours of practice. 7 more hours to go this week…