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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Two Challenging Yoga Classes

After a mini (one-week) break off the mat, I returned to it today feeling energised, then drained. Unfortunately, the pain in my left hamstring is still lingering (even after an acupuncture session), meaning I needed to continue to adjust my practice around that. My first class with Lawrence was challenging in that while my head was telling my body to do one thing, my body had other ideas, like, "sorry, not working today!" So it needed some pushing from both my instructor (and boy, did he push!) and myself to move the shoulder blades closer (heart more open), to lift the chest higher and to hold several poses longer. We did work around my left hamstring, by keeping my left knee bent, but what was interesting was that when I was doing my half moon pose on my left leg:

Not only was my left leg shaking, the entire left side of my body was powerless (would that be just psychological? But this left-right imbalance has kinda always been there: left hip, knee and foot have always been weaker). First I felt pain in my left hamstring then, my, err, left upper buttock began to contract and hurt, making it impossible to hold up my left leg. It took me several attempts to get into the pose, which usually isn't an issue.

Anyway, by the time I was resting, it was time to dash over to another class ~ hot flow with instructor Eswar. It was my first time taking his class and I think I would have enjoyed it more had I had more enegery. The sequences were, in fact, similar to what I practised earlier but only in a hot room. The flow was good, challenging at times (especially I was pretty tired by then) and I was completely in awe of the instructor's flexibility. Luckily he didn't push any of us - he kept telling us it is important that we smile - to do a back bend drop like he did, in nano seconds. By the end of the class I was SO exhausted it took me about an hour to catch my breath back.

But now, having some food in my stomach, I am feeling great. Not only did I rise to the various challenges but I am now prepared to get back on the mat in the coming week ~ something cool to look forward to.

An after thought re: difficult poses that are still beyond my reach .. my teacher said to me earlier today when I commented that the flat we practised in has no view: "but the sunlight still gets in". What a poetic way to say "it's okay"!

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