Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pranayama, standing series and breathing

Back to the HOT class this am with yoga training partner and love of my life.We have decided to only go to this studio as the other one is basically too easy for Tracy and I'm only going twice a week so I can step it up a bit too. This stuff is too expensive to take it easy,lol.

During the first series, Pranayama breathing I realized I havent been breathing correctly into the back of my throat; not because I wasn't doing as the instructor asked, but because I couldnt figure it out. Today it dropped in and it made a big difference. A very different 'breath' than the one I had been doing and it will take a lot of practice now to really 'own' it but at least now I can do it.

Today was a 'blind' class as well as I was in the forth row and couldnt see a thing. I operate better this way as long as I don't try to switch back and forth from an internal focus to a mirror focus. Just have to get to class earlier I guess.

I also have to focus more on visualizing the sequence more often so I know exactly what is coming up next and I can prepare for it better. The opening series of standing series really works my legs hard and it's a good thing it's first up after the warmup series, which also works my legs hard,lol

First the three squats of the awkward poses, then the one legged twisting squat of the eagle pose (which I really dig but can't even come close to twisting enough on upper or lower), then the REALLY hard standing head to knee, then the CRAZY tough standing bow!!!Then its on to the one legged balancing stick , then the straddle head to floor, then MORE quads and hammies( these always get my leg to shaking) of the warrior pose followed by the hardest pose for me of all , the split legged forward head to knee.The series finishes off with tree pose which is supposed to turn into toe stand,another one that will never( well maybe never say never) happen. So it's just treee pose. Which is hard enough by this time.

The breathrough in the opening Pranyama breathing also lead to a breathrough in endurance as I really focused the entire class on NOT holding my breath in the toughest poses, no matter how much tension they required. Holding my breath seems to put me into oxygen debt sometimes from which I never recover. By staying focused on making sure to breathe through every part of every pose everything got easier. Go figure. A little bit of O2 goes a long way.

It's a very good thing this series comes right at the start, otherwise I would never get through it.But it really working the strength of my legs, knees ankles and feet in a crazy good way and I am getting so much stronger and my balance so much better I can barely believe it.