UPDATE: Class on Day 10 started out really marvelous until the entire left side of my body cramped up including what felt like an oncoming Charlie Horse in my left calf. I Savasana-ed it up after that and teetered out (almost didn't even attempt the floor series) until my teacher for whatever reason gave me a very compassionate pat on the back. Was it to say you're okay? Or, I understand? Or, you can do it? I don't know but it was the nicest thing that anyone has done for me in awhile. Such a simple, compassionate gesture. It helped me do the next pose which was Cobra. Such a wonderful moment in my practice.
As mentioned previously, there's a 30 day yoga challenge happening at The Sweatbox, my favorite little sweat-filled nook of Capitol Hill (although the Hot House is pretty awesome). Around days 7 and 8 I started noticing some pain in my spine. It feels like a short metal rod is stuck in the midsection. I only feel it when I back bend and forward bend.
|Standing Deep Breathing. It's harder than it looks!|
Jaime and Melissa loaned me their Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class book with photographs of the poses. I've been referencing this since I first started practicing Bikram at the beginning of January. So it's back to the book to read again and try to adjust my entrance into these poses. Pada-Hastasana (Hands to Feed Pose) was super intense on my spine yesterday, at least the first set was. So was Sasangasana, which, WOW, has been opening up my spine in ways I did not know were possible. But, I'm still having a lot of pain/sensation especially the more I suck in my stomach and round my spine. In this pose, though, it kind of "feels good."
Laura, one of my teachers was commenting that during the 30-day challenge this is around the time that students might start feeling tightness in their spine or other areas. I'm also experiencing some serious knots in my left shoulder--which has long been my physical stress vault.
Perhaps related to all this is that I've been having a really difficult time with Pranayama, the Standing Deep Breathing sets we do at the beginning of class. I notice that when I have a difficult time maintaining my mental focus during these sets as well as my physical focus the class can be very inconsistent for me. I've been actually gasping for air, swaying, not maintaining locked knees/hips, my shoulders are getting really tired. I'm just all over the place during Pranayama.
I'm such a beginner, and I kind of like that. I don't feel overwhelmed by the rate of progress I've been making. It just all feels really good. Really, after 2 and half months of practice I feel like I haven't even begun to enter the postures, I'm still working on establishing a good/correct set up. So that's where I'm at on Day 10. I'll update this post later tonight and let you know how class was.