Friday morning was my first full post-Ashtanga Yoga Confluence practice (counting the Monday Mysore with Tim Miller as part of the Confluence weekend).
I don’t know about anyone else, but yoga intensives like the Confluence always manage to make noticeable changes to my practice. (Speaking of intensives, does anyone else really want to do a week with Richard Freeman after seeing him at the Confluence?)
Note I say “changes.” I don’t necessarily mean “improvements,” whatever that would mean, exactly, in this context.
So, with little adieu, here’s the good, the bad and the ugly from my practice:
- Self-heating. For whatever reason — probably all the shakti from the Confluence — my breath was long and steady this morning, and I quickly generated enough heat that I felt loose in the Suryanamaskara As — even before 7 a.m. We all know that breath is the real focus of the practice. I’m trying to put this as humbly as possible: When you get it “close to right” that lesson really comes through loudly.
- The Utthita Hasta adjustment. Jörgen Christiansson called it out, and there he was in front of me. “How’d you end up here,” I asked. He just smiled.
- A full room. Jörgen’s room had just about the perfect crowd; not too many so you have no space, but enough to make you feel like there’s a lot going on.
- Focus. Much like the agni, my focus and dristi seemed to have come away from the Confluence a bit improved, if that makes sense. (There’s some other stuff going on in this realm that I need to consider before writing on it.)
- In general, I felt pretty “light.” Jump backs and throughs all seemed relatively effortless, ala the way David Swenson teaches. I tried to remember to find the sense of “hand stand” in them when I could. (It’s easy to forget in a Led class as you move at the teacher’s pace.)
- My neck is still tender from the pillows (I think) at the Catamaran, so my headstand left much to be desired. Lightness, for one. Balance, for another. Length, for a third.
- Lots to do today, so I really had to race out of the shala and get to work. That’s a bit of a buzz kill. Anyone have tricks on how to deal with those super fast transitions we sometimes can’t avoid?
- Jörgen Christiansson walked behind me in the first backbend, and up I went. I think it was the first time he didn’t have to say, “Straighten your arms.” As I grasped his ankles, my arms were straight. The cobra hoodie was working! So you’re wondering why this is in the ugly? Because the next two were awful, my cobra hoodie abandoned me and I struggled to get much lift.
Well, more good than bad or ugly, so I can’t complain. Any noticeable changes to your practice post-Confluence?
Posted by Steve