In the interest of full disclosure, I thought it time to actually to discuss how I’m doing in each of the postures. I do this for a couple of reasons. First, it forces me to be honest with myself about bad habits or areas to work on. It gives you, the reader, an idea of how far I’ve come in two years of practice -- and more importantly, how far there is for me to go.
Earlier, I talked about my Standing Series. Today, I talk about the Floor Series.
Savasana: Seems to take me longer to get into the pose than most. Must have something to do with wiping my face and chugging some of my ice cold water before laying down. The deeper into class we go, the harder it is to stay still. If I am really fighting to stay in the room, either my right wrist twitches or I'm literally hanging on to my mat for dear life...
Wind Removing: I know I've gained some weight back because it is really difficult to grab both legs at the same time and pull. Working with each leg separately is not so bad, but I've slipped here as well.
Sit-ups: All depends on how good or bad my back feels. If good, I can do a passable sit-up, but forget about touching my forehead to my legs, much less my entire body! Again, my gut gets in the way.
Spine Strengthening Series (Cobra, Locust, Full Locust, Floor Bow): I will tackle all of these together because it is all or nothing with these postures. If I am feeling strong that day, it is not difficult to get into any of these postures. However, on many days, I feel a quick, sharp pain in my lower back... almost like an electric shock... and lifting up even an inch is torture. Locust is the worst... if I'm good I can get both legs really high (45 degrees or more) off the ground. If not, I can barely lift my legs, either singly or together. It gets really frustrating at times when I feel as weak as a newborn kitten. Floor Bow is the same. I do not know if I need to see a chiropractor or do more sit-ups or just do as much yoga as possible. (I will listen to ANY suggestions!!)
Fixed Firm: Had my first breakthrough here when I was able to get my backside on the floor between my heels! It varies as to how easily I can get into the pose. One of my favorites to do, though.
Half-Tortoise: Impossible for me to get hips to heels AND touch my forehead to the floor. I once asked a teacher which was more important and she related a Bikram quote: "Whom do you love more, your mother or your father? You love both equally." Many of these poses illustrate just how weak my core still is...
Camel: Lately, it has been really difficult for me to get into Camel, specifically grabbing the heels. Pushing forward is sheer torture at times.
Rabbit: Getting better at touching my forehead to my knees, but can't keep it there when I pull on my heels. My biggest problem: with this (or any similar forward bend) I feel like I'm going to choke because I can't breathe. I always come out of Rabbit early just so I can get a good, full lung breath.
Head to Knee w/ Stretching: Have yet to get either leg fully extended. Have yet to keep my forehead on the knee for full length of the posture. Have yet to keep chin to chest, or pull either heel off the floor. Most of the time I half-ass my way through this one... if I'm even in the room. When I pull on my toes it hurts. I really don't think I'll ever get my entire my stomach, chest, and face to my legs.
Spine Twist: Another testament to the fact that my core is nothing but mush. Always using one arm as a kickstand. If I do try to wrap my arm around my back, I look like a hunchback. The twisting part is pretty good though.
Kapalbhati Breathing: I've got the form down, but that second set is murder. I am never able to keep up for all sixty counts.
So there you are: my practice in a nutshell. Feel free to leave a tip or two.