Today's practice was wonderful though, everything seemed to go well. Being my day off I didn't feel like I had time hanging over me and could really take my time with the Sury's and Standing. I noticed my press to handstand was improving and seem to have the angle right at last, where I lean my shoulders a little forward of my hands to lift up. I managed to get really deep in Prasarita Padottanasana B, head to floor, and spent a lot of time on the Utthita hasasta Padangushasana ( UHP) sequence.
I've taken to putting my foot up on the mantelpiece in UHP to get a good stretch, as if I was getting an assist. If I have time I'll put first one block and then two on top of the mantelpiece then I'll do it again freestanding as usual. If I have the time to do this then I find so much else easier, the LBH asanas for example. You can tell right away that it's helping from how much more comfortable Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana feels, you just know your going to get a good lotus in Karandavasana.
Kapotasana has been a bit lame lately but today was perhaps my best ever, dropping back nice and slowly, reaching my heels and coming up very smoothly. I'd thought that perhaps I was losing this and that might be one of the reasons I haven't been enjoying 2nd lately. I think the improvement might be due to the Salambhasana work from 3rd I've been doing this week.
Nice Bakasana landing and managed my unassisted Supta vajrasana five times, until now I've only been able to manage three.
Karandavasana too was perhaps my best yet Every day I seem to have more control lowering but today I managed to come up without squishing my face into the mat. I still had to put my chin down but quite lightly. I also got the 'Chatwari' exit for the first time which surprised me as I thought it was something I would have to do a big two week intensive on. Getting that made me want to try exiting from Salabhasna too and I managed that OK and even had a little sniff at Ganda Bherundasana.
Ganda B is interesting, I just took my legs further over and let gravity do it's thing, bouncing my toes off the wall to make sure I wasn't going to fall all the way over and snap myself in two. I didn't go that deeply into it at all (see the video on yesterdsay's post) but I could really feel something happening, like my back opening up more, kind of like the feeling I got when I first dropped back into Kapo except this felt a much softer, more gentle opening. This then made a big difference to my UD and my drop backs which were again, very deep and yet comfortable.
I slipped in a quick nod to all of seated from primary going from one asana to the next without taking any vinyasa and only a breath or two in each one, plan being to really open my hips up for the Intermediate leg behind head poses. These too went well, nice and deep and I added on Kayapasana, Skandasana and Durvasana from 3rd. Even tried Viranchyasana A but that was going too far, could get into it but my leg kept popping out from behind my head when I tried to lift up.
Managed to roll into Viranchiyasana B though , which was a nice surprise as I'd been a little cautious about trying those ankle rolls. Kind of feels like serious Yogi stuff. One of those things I thought might not be possible for mere mortals, does this mean that Mula Bandhasana might be possible too one day?
I was joking in my last post about those asana that we don't think we'll ever be able to do but there were a couple of things that I really did think were going to be beyond me. Kapo was one, never thought I'd be able to get that deep a back bend. Dwi pada Sirasana and the leg behind head poses are another, and the ankle rolls are the third, just didn't think my ankles and knees would do that kind of thing. Perhaps the Splits is a forth, but starting to think that that too must be possible as I'm making some progress from practicing Hanumanasana at the end of Parasarita Padottanasana. Quite amazing what our bodies will do.
Best of all there was a nice flow to the practice. I was able to focus on the breath throughout much more than usual, with Intermediate, and a nice focus on bandhas too. After backbends I did the long Paschimottanasana sequence from Vinyasa Krama and went into an extended finishing and some Pranayama. The whole practice took just over two hours and yet I felt refreshed rather than completely exhausted, which is how I feel after a one hour rushed Intermediate. Perhaps I should get up earlier.
Long post today but it was one of those practices that I wanted to remember and want to be able to come back to the next time I go through a week or two of not enjoying my practice so much.
Oh, might be going away for a few days next month. Hoping to be able to get up early and practice on a beach, that will be a first for me. Another first is that I might be staying in a Yurt. Oh God, how New age is that, a Yurt for heaven sake.