Today has been a little all over the place for me. I think a combination of physical and mental fatigue, a crappy night sleep, worries about presenting and worries about home have caught up to me a little. I have also moved from the front of the class to the back of the class (we rotate weekly) so it made it a little harder to see and hear the demonstrations, which is probably another reason why I wasn’t as engaged this morning. What I find amazing is how you can tell if you’re a little off through your practice. For example, Vrksasana (tree) was really difficult for me today, highlighting my concentration is off - which is absolutely true. What I did find, however, was Chakrasana (wheel / back bend) was really strong for me tonight which was interesting. Something to contemplate…
Earlier today a friend emailed and asked if the training is what i had expected it to be. I thought this was a great question and one i hadn’t considered until now. My response to this was..
“Honestly, I think I was a little naive in what to expect. It’s incredibly intensive but not in the way you would expect. Our teacher is big on making sure our alignment is perfect, as only then can you
experience the true effects of any asana. So we spend alot of time just
holding ourselves in what would appear to be simple positions however
are incredibly difficult when done correctly (e.g. bending forward with
arms alongside the ears and parallel to the floor - nasty!). He often
highlights that people are impatient and want to just ‘get into’ a
posture to prove they can do it - however this is often with poor
technique and reliant upon strength of arms or shoulders for example,
rather than core and correct alignment. There is also a misconception
that flexibility is good, however we have now learned its one of the
worst things if there is no strength also. I lack the strength.
I really like my teacher. He is so passionate about what he does, and has phenomenal technique, which I hope to learn also”.
i wanted to add this email in here as a reminder to self never to forget or compromise technique for the sake of trying to move into a posture and proving i can do it. That’s not hard to do (well, in my case it’s very hard to do, but for others it may not be). It’s the awareness which makes the difference. A connection with body, breathe and mind.
Our teacher told us a story about a previous student who had tennis elbow. She said this was the result of doing 90 Surya Namaskara’s in 30 minutes in a 'Power Yoga’ class. Well yes - that will do it! Fads are causing so many injuries out there which could be avoided if more emphasis were placed on technique. This is my intention.
I will also be sure to carry forward my teachers recommendations that students don’t use supports like bolsters, straps or blocks. These all create dependency and prevent people from reaching their full potential. Someone who is using a block today will be using it still in a years time. I aim to help people to actually progress with their practice and experience the true bliss which can come with it when results are being achieved.
Tomorrow we will be presenting on Sirsasana (head stand / king of the asanas). This is one of the most difficult poses to do, however once achieved correctly then you will (apparently) be able to fly into other strong postures. I’m not currently flying into anything like this - more like flying off the mat when I attempt such postures. But, in saying that, my teacher assures it is possible for anyone to achieve this given time and patience combined with proper technique. There is hope for me yet!
Well - off to bed as I’m going to do this all again tomorrow!