'Aches in the joints from old injuries, perhaps I should stay in bed this morning rather than risk the knees.'
'Twinge in the hamstring, perhaps another rest day?' Conveniently forgetting that I've been working through this particular twinge for the last six months.
'It's too cold to be a really good practice, so why bother, might as well just give it a miss this morning, it'll be warmer tomorrow.'
The heating is turned all the way up, space heater directed at the center of the mat, yet still the cold creeps up through the floorboards and around the mat though nothing gets through the raft like Manduka.
'Don't think past the Sury's', and when they're done, a full five of each, resist the urge to jump straight to finishing.' So many mornings the thought comes up, I never seem to go with it, yet it keeps trying, keeps tempting.
'Standing, just stretch out some of the night aches and call it a day, a rest day, why not, your owed a few moon days.'
'Primary or Intermediate? I'd planned on 2nd but can I face Kapo when it's this cold, when I feel so stiff? Primary then....but then, hang on a moment, if I do 2nd I can quit standing at Parshvottanasana...'
Second then, because I can't face the last half of standing and I like the thought of bunching up into a warm ball for Pasasana. But then there's Krounchasana and the frustration of still not being able to get my leg straight, not in to mood for directing loving kindness at that pose. 'The cold isn't helping any, I'm stiff, hamstrings tight....is it too late to switch to Primary, I mean I'm already seated right...'
And I'm so not in the mood for stupid Salabhasana, here it is, decision time, if I'm going to bail it''ll be here. And yet Salabhasana is such good prep for Mayurasana. 'It's cold, I'm not going to be so sweaty, should nail a good peacock, perhaps even swan necked..... so breathe, count the breathe, focus on the count, make the Ujayii louder.'
In the end it's the breath, always the breath. Those tiresome poses I tolerate, Salabhasana A to Parsva Dhanurasana, it's always the breath I rely on to carry me through. By the time I come out of the other side the mind is quiet, the breath focused.
Kapo goes well, not so deep but the hang feels comfortable, don't feel like coming up but perhaps one more. On the second my hands are on my feet and I come up smoothly. So a third then, I find my feet right away...'my heels, did I just graze my heels', hang a little longer, hands are drier, so are my feet, spider hands up my heels, two fingers over the top...'hooked, I'm hooked', pull in, get the elbows down and breathe.
After coming smoothly up and while jumping back '.... I could have gone deeper, grabbed my ankles even, damn why didn't I remember to push my hips further forward, my ankles, my ankles damn it.'
And then it's work, set up for Supta Vajrasana focus on the count, work through Bakasana, the floaty, smoothly landed one comes and goes but I'm relaxed about it.
The twists, my favourites and you thought it would be the, oh so cool arm balances. Love the feeling of being so grounded, breath focus strongest here, good bandha focus too. Perfect lead into the LBH which feels comfortable enough now that I'm able to keep with the breathe and bandhas. I lose count of the breath at fifteen or so in Yoganidrasa. Ego raises it's head then 'damn that was a fine Chakrasana'.
By then of course the cold is forgotten, I'm in the practice, only mildly peeved at my failure to get as high as I want in Titthi. Karanda is OK, down and up, still not pretty and I wonder for a moment if it's going to improve or if I'll have to start all over from scratch. Some delight in Mayurasana, no swan neck but I'm more pleased with myself than a yogi probably should be, it's coming along.
As amused in Nakrasana now as I was in Titthibhasana B.
Mind fades away again through Vatyanasana, Parighasana and Gomukhasana, back with the breath and the bandha no need to focus on the count, body knows what to do, on automatic.
Supta Urdhava Pada Vajrasana still work in progress, try to picture Kino's approach. it's better, almost there.
Headstands, never been a problem for me, the exit was for awhile but never floating up and staying there. If I have time I'll thrown in some leg as well as the hand variations.
If the Kapo was good then I'll come up from Urdhava Danurhasana if not I'll do five UD's one drop back and move on to finishing. Not so interested in backbends at the moment.
Finishing is a joy, strong bandha focus throughout especially Uddiyana in the inversions.
Before Utpluthi I do kapalibhati, 36 strong exhales, lift up another 36, lower, arms up and on my shoulders for a final 36. (Liz would hate this).
Time is short so I run through the Pranayama mantra three times then ten minutes of Viloma Ujayii with deeply sucked in Uddiyana and a Nauli kriya at the end. I check the time again, ten minutes for meditation at most, promise myself I'll make up for it when I get back from work.
Sitting I focus on the breath entering and leaving the nostrils for five breathes and then try to follow the breath and let drop any location focus. I become aware of the buzz and play on the edges of it, not enough time to let it come on too strong but I notice myself smiling anyway.
The deep Tibetan chant comes out of my itouch and I lay back for my two minute Savasana and notice the chill coming up through the floorboards around me.