Hard to get on the mat again for Intermediate, I thought I'd got past this last week but I think I screwed up. I took Thursday as my rest day (because I'll be away this weekend) and then did two days of Primary making it a break of three days from my last Intermediate. Sunday was a struggle but I was OK about it but Monday too was a case of grinding out the asanas. Yesterday, being my day off, I started my practice later than usual, and really struggled to get on the mat. I should have stuck to the routine last week, rested on Saturday and just done the one Primary on Friday. Today I took the moon day for probably the first time ever to think about where I want to take my practice
The two days of Primary idea was because I felt I was losing some of my flow by practicing it only once a week. I figured I'd practice it twice and Intermediate four times a week. It seems to be too disrupting though, I think I need to be getting back into a routine and come to terms with Intermediate before I start thinking about mucking around with the schedule. Primary will be fine for a month or two.
The thing is, I don't understand my animosity towards 2nd. The asanas are going well, my Karanda is hit or miss but more hit now, in that I'm managing to go back up and exit properly. It's not pretty or elegant, my chin is still on the mat but it's getting there. Kapo is coming along nicely, I'm proud of my Bakasana, in fact it's only SUPV at the end that's not coming together and I'm OK with that, it'll come. The series just doesn't seem to flow. I find it hard to focus on my bandhas in the way I'm able too in Primary and when I was doing the Vinyasa Krama sequences. I can do all the exits and entrances, the different jump back and through variations, it should flow, no? But I still experience it in stages. The Kapo stage, the LBH stage, the bits and pieces stage, the headstand stage.
Oh well, will try sticking to a 5-1 (Inter. to Primary) routine for the next couple of months and see if that works. Take it slower perhaps and really try to focus on the breath. Give you an idea of how serious this Intermediate situation is, I was actually playing with the idea of quitting Ashtanga altogether and practicing Vinyasa Krama instead. I really enjoyed practicing VK last month, felt I gained a better understanding of the breath, the Bandhas and how one asana prepares you for the next. Sometimes with Ashtanga Yoga, it feels a little like Ashtanga first and Yoga second. Does that make sense? But hey, Ashtanga has brought me this far, I owe it a lot. I love primary and already know that I'll love third, I even love most of the Intermediate asana if not the series itself.
Below is my latest Kapo. I'm dropping back more slowly, able to hang back longer and even getting my fingers to my heels. Was trying really hard here to keep my legs up but it's not really happening. Seem to have reached a barrier here and something about my whole approach probably has to change if I want to get in any deeper than this. Perhaps I should try that rope set up to try and keep my legs straighter..... but then that would disrupt the flow that I'm aiming at. Think I'll just go with it for now, settle for what I have and perhaps work more on hanging back longer and see If I can get to the point of grabbing my heels before my head touches the mat.