And secondly, a clarification. Although this has been my first six morning ashtanga week in six months it's not as if I haven't kept up a steady morning yoga practice.
Six months ago I started to prepare for the summer Vinyasa Krama course in LA by doing a few days Ashtanga and a few days Vinyasa Krama then a week on each Vinyasa krama sequence. On the course I practiced ashtanga in the stairwell most morning before the asana class but probably only four or five days a week. When I came back from the course I was practicing Vinyasa Krama in the mornings except for Friday's Primary. Missing Ashtanga I started to practice Primary in the evenings but still Vinyasa Krama in the mornings. This started well but for one reason or another, working late, shopping for dinner, whatever, I'd often get home late and not have time for a full practice and have to cut it short or do some Vinyasa Krama subroutines instead, so as not to cut back on the pranayama and meditation. Then of course there were the 'injuries' that disrupted my practice last month, the inflamed coccyx (still taking pills for that and rolling around in LBH to avoid sitting on it), the tooth abscess (tooth coming out Tuesday), the cut leg from hitting a train in the wet ( pretty much healed) and the three stitches in the top of my head ( stitches out now and pretty much healed up).
So this isn't as dramatic as not having stopped practicing yoga every morning, just a case of not having practiced Ashtanga for the full six mornings for six months. Anyone who doesn't practice ashtanga is probably asking, what's the big deal?
I didn't expect jumping back into morning ashtanga to be so hard either, I still had a morning practice routine and been practicing Ashtanga on and off in the evenings, thought it would be straight forward.
I have a renewed respect for the practice itself and for those who get up and do it every morning, It's tough, mentally as well as physically, it's really quite something, pat yourselves on the back ashtangis, look at what you do. To push yourself through that every morning for ninety minutes/two hours, day in day out, to stay focused (mostly), concentrated, it's quite a discipline, a helluva tapas. Let alone those of you coming up to a split and doing a series and a half.
I wrote the I'm struggling here post on Friday, your comments helped me get on the mat Saturday for Intermediate, which went well (that made five mornings), I stripped the practice down, no VK extras. I did the same this morning, almost faltered though, Maya curled up on the sofa cruelly tempting me away from the mat, but I managed to drag myself away and into the Shala for another 2nd series. I confess I felt a most unyogic feeling of triumph when I reached shoulderstand, that I'd managed the six morning week, three primary, three Intermediate.
Intermediate was OK, didn't over dramatize the Kapo, dropped back to my toes, Karanda wasn't pretty but I landed it and got it back up for the exit. LBH is awkward with the coccyx still playing up, I have to keep Dwi pada raised the whole time, dropbacks and coming up were fine. Weirdly I'm finding 2nd series easier to face than Primary, what's that about?
Tomorrow of course is another week so I'm not feeling that triumphant, perhaps if I can keep it up for a month I might feel I'm back in the routine and can relax a bit and start enjoying it. Six months and I might feel I'm an ashtangi again.
Did I hear someone shout "Try six years mate"?
And yes I still practice Vinyasa Krama but I've stopped thinking of it as an asana practice. I do fifteen/twenty minutes of asana, some VK subroutines, then twenty of pranayama and twenty of meditation. I prefer to think of it as my evening meditation practice, the asana and pranayama just prep, that seems to help somewhat, I don't feel that I'm doing two practices so can drop a morning Ashtanga. That said I've dropped a few evening practices this week and need to get that back on track too.