I went to class Sunday morning. I have not had too many good (for me) classes lately. I went simply because I needed to go and try to work my way out of this funk my practice has been in; to find the peace that I allowed to be stolen from me.
When I arrived at the studio, I was surprised (and VERY thankful) to see that Greg (co-owner of the studio with his wife) would be teaching. They are two of the coolest people you will ever meet, and any class they teach is a treat. Sunday was no exception. I have told Greg before that I wish I could get a CD of his class -- so much knowledge and so many things to think about! To wit:
Pranayama: For the 2nd set, try switching your hands so your opposite pinky finger is to the outside. Felt like I was doing the exercise for the first time. Now I try to do it for every posture where you interlock your hands.
Awkward: Do not simply "suck your stomach in", bring your stomach "IN and UP" to better support your spine.
Eagle: Don't simply lock your hands -- "ALWAYS go for prayer position first".
Standing Bow: Instead of "bring your chin to your shoulder", he asked us to, "bring your SHOULDER to your CHIN". With that twist in dialogue, I think I was able to better keep my spine straight.
Savasanas: too much movement. To paraphrase: "As an observer, there is too much movement right now. Learn to master NON-MOVEMENT, and it will become easier to perform the MOVEMENT."
Locust: Fingers spread out on your mat. Don't focus on simply lifting the legs... PUSH WITH YOUR ARMS and observe the feeling in your upper back..."
Head to Knee w/ Stretching: Same as standing version except you don't have to fight the gravity... you are preparing for Standing Head to Knee tomorrow. The more you work on this one, the better your standing version will be tomorrow!
Some of his other nuggets:
Yoga is movement with awareness of breath. You must check in with your breathing often. Mouth breathing activates "fight or flight".
On backbends: Lead with your eyes... try to look further and further back... look past your eyelids... where the eyes go, the body will follow. Also: "Let gravity be your guru... don't fight it."
Balancing series/ Tree & Toe Stand: "Think about how you stomp your foot into the ground. Stomp that standing foot. Stomp, Stomp, STOMP (It does help me with keeping my balance.)
Perspective: "So much of reality is perspective. Change your perspective, change your reality."
The heat: "I hate the heat. I always imagine myself on top of a big block of ice..."
Results? Although I did have to slow down near the end, I did stay in the room and I really felt better after class. THAT is why I do this yoga. Monday afternoon's class was really hot and I did leave the room but only for two postures. I went back in at Camel and finished class stronger than at any time in at least six weeks!
I think better things are around the corner...
48 down, 152 to go...
My best is yet to come!!