Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Observations, Pampering and Abductors

Today I committed two Ashtanga infractions and one was first. I practiced while on ladies holiday and on a new moon and can I just say that the world didn't end because of it. I'm generally a fan of moon days and observe them regularly but as I'm traveling and I overslept on Monday due to jet lag I made an exception.

Things are interesting in the Paris shala that I've been practicing at. Not necessarily in a bad way just interesting. The teachers have been really nice and helpful but some of their instruction contradicts what I've been taugh by JB which I why I can understand that it is encouraged to only have one primary teacher. In addition to the instruction some of the adjustments have been different as well, much lighter I would say but still pretty firm in most instances. One thing that I do love about practice here is that everyone gets a nice sacrum squish and massage while in child's pose after headstand and it feels like heaven. Today I even got some pampering just as I laid down for savasana. Reminded me of my old vinyasa days but only better minus the lavender. In terms of my practice one thing that the instructor has honed in on is my lack of inner thigh strength and inability to really access my abductor muscles in my thighs and that my duck feet during drop backs is a symptom of such. There are so many poses where I should be engaging those bad boys in which I haven't been (shalambasana, bhekasana, parsvo dhanurasana, dhanurasana anyone). So it seems like I have my work cut out for me for the next couple of weeks/months. One last thing to say about my practice over the last couple of days is that it feels much different due to the energy in the room. I think it's a little less ambitious/competitive if that makes any sense.

The shala itself is small but really nice and is accessible from a lovely courtyard and gets some nice natural light. I'm not used to practicing in natural light so that could explain some of the difference in my practice. It seems like a lot of prop usage is encouraged and half lotus and full lotus isn't done by the majority of practitioners. Not that I was keeping count but it felt like I was the only one that did the full expression of garba pindasana today. Normally this wouldn't be such a huge deal but I've also noticed quite a few of those same people practicing well into second. Then there's
utthita hasta padangusthasana, I haven't seen many assists given during that pose and I've also seen quite a few people doing tree pose instead.

These were just my observations and that's all that they are. Even though the sequence of poses are the same in Ashtanga that are so many different variables that affect how it's taught by the specific teachers.

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