Sunday, October 04, 2009

Like riding a bike- up a steep hill.

That's what my Bikrams instructor told me this morning as we walked into class and I said I hoped I remembered how to do the class, it felt like it had been so long since I practiced. "Ah", he said, "you'll remember,it's just like riding a bike, up a steep hill".
And that is so true.
Actually it wasn't that bad at all,even though Tracy and I forced ourselves to the 8 am class.I think it's better to take the beating before you are fully concious and can really feel how hard it is. Plus, it wakes you right up.The heat actually felt good too, as the fall weather is setting in and my blood is still thin from all the outside summer certs and lots of great zinfandel :))
My engine runs hot all the time and doing Bikrams in the summer is a lot like adding insult to injury.In the winter it's a great respite from the cold( I know I like in Cali and it's not really "cold". But I also went to school in Iowa so I do know cold and 30 degrees is still cold to me no matter what the summer was like.
Anyway, as usual I was stronger from the layoff and for a change my conditioning felt alright as well.Being ready for some heat helped too.
I AM tight as crap though and that was apparent right from the gate. Pranayama went well but as soon as I got, or should I say "tried" to get my arms overhead for half moon and back bend series I could really see how much overhead and thoracic flexibility I had lost.It felt good to really reach tall and open up the rectus and obliques and lats.Still my arms didnt want to lock out and my shoulders felt super tight.
Ditto on the forward bend and it was interesting to do poses with my feet THAT close together( heels and toes touching). That rarely happens in real life but what a big stretch it is.
Lower back felt a bit fragile as I haven't done much flexion like that lately so I took it easy.
Still that HUGE sweat after the first series was a welcome relief,like diving in a pool. A heated pool but a pool nonetheless.
The standing series always kicks my ass and today was no exception.When you can't get your knee to fully lock out with NO weight on it trying to keep it as locked out as possible while similtaneously pull the other leg up and bend over completely is quite the trick.I have to focus on so many things that aren't working every second of the pose that's it's very hard to know exactly what to concentrate on most.
One of the contradictions in Bikrams is their constant admonishments to push "beyond your flexibility" and to take each pose to it's fullest expression regardless of your current level of flexibilty and mastery as well as to do each component perfectly and not move beyond that one stage until it is mastered!Well which one Sir?
The dialogue speaks to the students as if eveyone can do the pose correctly and the main goal is taking it further and further into the 'fullest' expression.
And I'm still trying to stand on my left leg and keep my knee locked out enough to grab my right foot while bent over and not shift to much to the left to center myself,lol. Lots of fun.
So I focus on what I think is the most important element that day and, as usual ,my breath and meditating through the 90 minutes.
I want to work at 80 % of my physical ability and as close to 100% of my mental ability that day.The mind leads the body and the breath leads the mind.I can only push as hard as I can maintain my breathing and today was solid.I didnt get ahead of myself physically or mentally.
Things were tight though and I gave up after six tries to get my left knee to bend enough to get into standing bow pulling pose.I went into my own variation for the remaining 30 seconds and did get it for the second set. But That hasn't happened in awhile.
Right now I am set for two solid days of yoga( sunday and tuesday, with an optional third on Fridays.Friday means 4:30 pm and I loathe that.We'll see. Two good days will be fine.I need recovery as much as anything and I can really tell since the layoff that yoga, although it stretches me out, creates as much tension in the body from the static poses as lots of traditional lifting least for me.especially all that one legged stuff on my bad side.Got to make sure I balance it out with as much relaxation stuff.
tomorrow perhaps a couple hi rep clubbell sets.


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