Class #23, 2/2/2012

Holy crap I’m sore!  My ankles, my thighs, my butt, my hips, my back and shoulders.  I was barely able to get out of bed this morning and when I did, there was some definite hobbling.  Some of it has worked out over the course of the day, but I know that this muscle tenderness will scream a little during class tonight.  I also ate a little later than I should have today, so I’m going to regret that a little come floor-pose-time.  Oh well.  It’s still GREAT to be back.

I was talking to one of the “regulars” last night (he’s the guy I tried to hide behind during my first class) and he said he’s been coming for a year but once went 30 days without coming.  “Never again,” he said.  Apparently the soreness just gets worse the longer you’re out.  I don’t want to go more than a couple days without going.  Never ever again.

I think I’m going to continue listing out the poses and going over each one in detail for each class.  I want to be able to look back and see what my strengths and struggles were over time.  I know that not all of you know what these poses are so I put a little link over there ——> that has some animated poses (in case you’re interested).

Okay, last night’s class:

Standing Deep Breathing:  I was actually surprised that I wasn’t gasping for air.  I figured my lungs would have backslid over the last several days, but apparently they remembered how to deep breathe.  Awesome!

Half Moon:  I love this pose.  All good things are coming from this pose and I have the most noted improvement here.  First, I can keep my arms up in the air the entire time, which seemed impossible a month ago.  Holding your hands up in the air with the arms locked and muscles engaged for 5-10 minutes (or however long it really is) is super challenging!  My arms used to feel like lead.  Now?  It’s not even what I’m thinking about.  They stay up there because they can.  As for the actual bending, some days I can stretch farther than others.  I notice that in other people too.  I love, though, that I can finally see the wall behind me when I’m bending backwards.  I figured it would take me a year to do that, but there it is.  The wall!  The forward-bending part of this pose is hard on me emotionally because my belly is so in the way, but I find I’m bending farther, reaching closer to my heels, and am getting closer to locking my knees.  Progress.

Awkward Pose:  I did okay with this one.  I can keep my arms up now, which is great.  I’m  nursing a stress fracture in the metatarsal that leads to my big toe, though (an old injury that occasionally acts up), and so I had some general difficulty and pain.  Oddly, no foot cramps this time.

Eagle:  Fucking eagle.  I hate this pose.  I can’t even come CLOSE to getting my arms in the right position, and because of my fat thighs I’m unable to cross my legs properly.  I do my best, still, and am able to balance.  The word is that if you’re trying the pose correctly you still get the benefit.  I’m hoping that’s true.

Standing Head to Knee:  I’m still modifying this one and I’m not even close to the point where I can kick out my leg.  My focus for now is to balance on one leg, keep that leg locked, and keep my other leg off the floor and bent.  I’ll get there.

Standing Bow:  I can finally do this fairly consistently on one side only (holding right foot).  I still need my towel to grab my left foot, but that flexibility will come.  I just have so many problems with everything left-side related.  That side has been so bunched up with pain and immobility for so long, that it’s going to take me a while to work it all out.  First is that there is no pain anymore (thank you triangle!) and next will come the flexibility.  I’m waiting it out.

Balancing Stick:  I have a love/hate relationship with this pose.  It looks so simple but it’s super intense.  Ten seconds never seemed so long!  Some days I feel like a rock star, other days not so much.

Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose:  Love this one.  Love how it makes my hamstrings and butt feel.  It’s as if this pose makes my muscles euphoric.  They’re so HAPPY when we do this pose.  Plus, I think that I’m finally starting to put all the pieces together.  Spine straight, knees locked, quads engaged, rolled forward, grabbing heels, pulling enough that my elbows are bent, and the hardest part for me:  remembering to relax my head so the stretch can happen.  I think part of me is just afraid of falling over, so there’s a natural tendency to tense up my head, neck, and shoulders.  But I’m getting there.

Triangle:  Oh Triangle.  I used to hate your guts, but now?  Now I see nothing but benefit.  Triangle has taken away 10 years of back pain.  Triangle has given me stamina.  Triangle is making me comfortable with the feeling of my heart pounding (where I used to just associate it with a panic attack and not want it to happen!).  Triangle makes me feel like I’m doing something awesome for myself.

Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose:  To be honest, now that I’ve gotten to the point of doing both sets, both sides of triangle – I’m usually resting during this pose.  Right now it’s what I have to do.  I’m trading the benefits of triangle for the benefits of this pose.  Someday soon I will do both and it will be glorious – but not now.

Tree:  I love tree.  I love seeing all the little ways in which this pose is improving.  I still have some more flexibility to gain in order to make it perfect, but I’m so far from where I started and I just LOVE seeing that reflected in the mirror.  All the little things I used to have to think about (put my hips in one line, relax the “up” knee down, straighten my spine) just come naturally now.  It’s a simple pose compared to the others (I think), so maybe that’s part of it.  But I’m still reveling in my progress here.

Wind Removing Pose:  Nothing new to report here.  Still unable to get both hands around each knee, but I’m getting there.

Cobra:  I love this pose.  I like the way it makes my back feel – I like using those muscles.  I’m mesmerized by all the pieces of this pose:  remembering to keep my shoulders down, keeping my legs engaged but still on the floor (which is surprisingly challenging).  It’s great.

Locust:  Ugh, I don’t like this pose.  I know that I will someday, but I don’t now.  I think that someday, when I’m finally able to get my arms under my belly and lift up my legs, that I will feel superhuman.  For now I will settle for being regular human.

Full Locust:  Yay!  Love this pose.  Flying like superman is EXHAUSTING, but in the most wonderful way.  The best part of the pose is resting afterward and letting the muscles relax.  Ahhhh.

Floor Bow:  Someday I will be able to grab my feet.  For now, I act as if and do the best I can.

Fixed Firm:  I am not even close to being able to do the full pose.  I’m still not even to the point of getting my butt to sit between my heels (partly due to the fact that my legs are so thick), but I am getting reaaaally close.  Yesterday, for example, I felt my heels touching higher up on my hips/butt than they had before.  Little victories.

Half Tortoise:  I totally skipped this pose yesterday.  I was feeling nauseated from the floor series and desperately wanted to leave the room for some fresh air.  My fight or flight was kicking in BIG TIME.  So I spent this pose resting, breathing, and staying as aware as possible.

Camel:  Whew!  This is another pose that I’m still in the very beginning stages of.  But after resting through half-tortoise I was actually able to go back farther than I have before, and without feeling overwhelmed or panicky (which this pose can do).  I can’t believe I’m able to see the back wall now.  It seems like such a little thing.

Rabbit:  I want to cook the rabbit and eat it.

Head to Knee Pose and Stretching Pose:  By the time this pose came around, all I could think about was that class was almost over.  I did my stretching and it felt good, but I was really just rejoicing that it was almost over.

Spine Twisting:  I struggle with this one, mainly because of my giant belly.  It gets in the way of EVERYTHING.  It gets in the way of crossing my legs, it gets in the way of how I twist and it distorts how straight my spine may or may not be.  BUT!  I did a better job yesterday than I’ve done before.  I actually did look a little straighter.  Which is cool.

Okay!  Hitting the 4:30 with Joanne.  Love her.

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