Had a truly dreadful night's sleep settling in to the new flat (my normal one was not available until I had already committed elsewhere and then she got a last minute cancellation. Damn.). Bed preposterously rock hard. Gave up trying to sleep on it at about 2am and then had a brainwave. There was another empty bed in my room, so why not take the mattress off of that one and put it on top of mine? On go the lights and I haul the mattress over and discover enroute that it is in fact 2 mattresses - Great! even better! - But then I am like the princess and the pea toppling around on 3 mattresses . At 3am I give up on this, lights back on and haul the top mattress off. This is do-able if not exactly comfortable and sometime after 4am I finally nod off into a light sleep (you know the kind - you'd swear you were awake, were it not for the fact that you are undeniably dreaming). Ah well, at least no need for an early start as we are attending evening class, but of course, eyes popped wide open at 7am. Cranky and mullish I admit defeat and get up.
We headed over to the park with a teapot and 2 china mugs and sat on one of the benches to come up with a game plan for the months study. I miss my normal apartment terribly, but this one at least has a huge terrace to practice and sit outside amongst the trees (noisy though, as one side overlooks HKM Road). After practice we headed to Dorabjee's to get the months supply of whole foods. We failed to get a rickshaw so I thought I'd try out the Uber app. Wow! no language barrier or confusion about destination as it is already programmed into the driver's phone. Cool, smooth ride all for much the same price as the rickshaw and no traffic fume overload either.
Evening class was Inter 1 and this level is for people who are just moving out of beginners. Too basic for us really and all the better for it! It is great to be taught the correct actions in the poses in a completely inescapable way - I particularly enjoyed toes up the wall in parsvakonasana, pressing the bent leg knee backward and moving the sitting bone deep forward, meticulously maintaining this action / suction straightening into trikonasana. Still next week may swap for an early morning Prasant class. All the details below (and thanks to Lydia for sharing notes).
On our way home a fantastic storm broke - huge splats of rain hitting the pavement. Anyone who knows me well, will tell you how much I love walking in the rain (the only time I feel more alive is when I'm wild swimming in the rain). Flashes of lightening overhead followed by shockingly loud claps of thunder. Exhilarating, if not entirely safe.....
October 2nd – Rajalaxmi Standing Poses
Swastikasana – Broaden clavicles away from each other.
AMVirasana – Hold the outer edges of the mat to take groins backward and draw thighs towards groins as if someone had the rope there and they were pulling you back. Staying back come forwards with the side trunk only
AMSvanasana – Same action, holding the outer edges of the mat to push the groins backwards. Thighs to groins lifting up and pushing backwards. Move the muscle away from the skin and press it to the bone. Lift the heels to get the height of the tailbone and maintaining the height of the tailbone, take the back of the leg down to the heels, cutting both inner and outer heel back to descend the heels down. Move the shoulder blades away from the neck.
Walk back to Uttanasana walk forward to AMSvanasana as if the rope was there to maintain the thighs backwards.
Take a brick
Between top thighs. Feet together. Squeeze the brick from the outer thighs strongly (how you squeeze the fruit to get some juice, SQUEEEZE!) and find out what happens. See the effect of the energy lifting. Whole spine gets the lift “Are you getting that, or not?” This is centralization. Get collected into yourself! If brick is tilted one side is gripping in more strongly than the other – one side is pushing and the other is getting pushed!
Between knees – Hold from the outside in and lift up! Take the knees back, but lift the thighs up so that you do not over do.
Between the feet – grip the brick and lift the ankle bones up. Extend arms up into Urdhva Hastasana descending buttock flesh down, move tailbone into you and resist thighs backwards. Between the thighs again Urdhva Hastasana no gap between thighs and brick, squeeze!.
Between the palms. Grip the brick between the palms, fingers straight and raise the arms up to Urdhva Hastasana.
Between the palms, arms extending back behind the body and then raise the arms to lift the brick up, keeping the elbows straight. Rajalaxmi was able to do this with the fingers extended straight, but the rest of us couldn’t lift the brick at all like this (except a little with the fingers bent around the brick). She looked mystified as to why we couldn’t do this – and instructed us to lie down on the abdomen and lift up into dhanurasana as this is same action of extending the arms straight behind. Then we stood and repeated the brick lift behind.
Tadasana brick between thighs, feet together into AMSvanasana keeping the brick there. “Squueeeze the brick, the juice comes out” and take the brick back and see how this opens the back thighs, broaden the back thighs. Uttanasana descending downwards.
Standing poses back foot to wall outer heel has to get pinned to the wall, but small toe should not touch.
Vira 2 Demo on stage. When you turn the front leg out, the back leg should not get disturbed. If the thigh of back leg rolls forward, the thigh bone is no longer engaged in the hip socket. Back foot like prasarita paddottonasana how the outer foot has to descend down the wall and the inner ankle has to lift up and move towards the outer.
Prasarita Paddottonasana Don’t go down, but arrange the foot at the wall for Pras Pad. Now maintain this and turn the front leg fully out and go to Vira 2 keeping pinned at the wall with outer heel and the energy lifting from arch of foot up. Now Parsvakonasana trunk goes down, ankle lifts up. Raise arm straight up and bring it over the ear. For many the arm was not going far enough back over the ear, so she had us stand up with brick between thighs in tadasana and urdhva hastasana armpit opening taking the arms back in line with the ears.
Repeat Parsvakonasana arm up and back and then extend it over so that it is above the ear, not coming forwards.
Uttanasana brick between thighs
Parsvakonasana Don’t ‘lean’ on the back thigh. Keep it pushing backward so that it remains fully engaged in the hip socket. As you bend the knee keep the knee moving back and the sitting bone moving forward (repeated several times as we were descending). From Parsvak to Trik maintaining the sitting bone forward as you straighten the leg.
Turn round so that the toes are up the wall. Parsvakonasana with toes up the wall into Trikonasana toes up the wall back into Vira 2 Demonstrated on a student how the buttock escapes and the knee dips forward as she bends the leg. Got her to work much harder to grasp the action. Then when she straightened the leg she maintained the buttock deep inward. “Push sitting bone inside!” When we did this as a class, I got the best action I have ever had with this firm, firm connection of the buttock / upper thigh into the body.
AMS brick between thighs.
Supine Tadasana whole sole of foot pressed into wall, bending knees to get traction action moving buttock flesh towards the wall. Supta Pandangusthasana 1 Belt around the heel bone, long belt so that elbows could press the floor to engage shoulder blades into the upper back, palms rotated to face head side. Bottom leg completely grounded and the sole of that foot pressing the wall as if you were trying to push it over. Take the up leg sitting bone towards the down leg heel otherwise thigh climbs on hip. Long, thorough stay each leg.
Supine Tadasana focus on extending sole of foot into wall and backs of legs into floor. Extend arms over head to supine urdhva hastasana Bend legs to abdomen Urdhva Prasarita Padasana bend legs to abdomen to come down and repeat x 3. Supine Urdhva Hastasana going with straight legs to Urdhva Prasarita Padasana and straight legs down again.
Supine urdhva hastasana to Urdhva Hasta Dandasana X 3 (bit like a sit up) long hold in Navasana -Urdhva Hasta Dandasana - Navasana – Ardha Navasana.
Take long belt around heels and armpits for belt navasana (this was a comic failure for all but the western teachers in the group, plenty of laughter trying though). Looong stay for those that could do, while the rest kept trying.
Paschimottonasna how are your legs? Backs of the thighs to rest on the floor.
Sirsasana hands holding brick pulling brick into back skull. 5 minutes only.
Chatushpadasana on sarvangasana supports
Sarvangasana 1 or 2 minutes straight pose only then 1)Eka Pada Sarvangasana from sarvangasana Touch the toe to the floor and stay. Leg that comes down like AMS maintaining the frontal thigh back. Leg that stays up, like down leg in supta padangusthasana how it has to push back Push the up-leg thigh back. Push! 2)Eka Pada Sarvangasana from halasana. Repeat 1) and throw top leg back as you bring front leg down. Each variation x 3.
Karnapidasana and come down without jerking the head.