Monday, December 28, 2009

Last week of the year.

Back to the routine, thank God. Good practice today! Lifting from Kapotasana was effortless. The trick for me was to coordinate a precise moment of contracting abs and quads, in addition to a slight push with arm. It seems so strange now that the feat seemed impossible only a week ago. I love this about yoga!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How aerobic is Mysore practice?

Thank you so much for all of you who advised me on the lift from Kapo B. Something must have stuck in my subconscious brain, because I did it yesterday! Three times. Might have done it today, too, but David helped me, so I do not know. But it is funny how a pose seems completely impossible, until something clicks and it works. Just like magic...

I brought in a heart rate monitor today to practice. In one of his talks, David said that heart rate should not go above 60 during Ashtanga practice. Yeah, right. My resting heart rate is 65-75, so I am already not there. During the day - 80-110, depending if I am walking or sitting. So anyway, my results:

Sun Salutations increase to 126
Standing poses hold heart rate around 100, except for hasta padangustasana, utkatasana and both virabadrasanas - 126
Vinyasas between seated raises HR by 10 (from 95 to 105-110, approximately), forward bends decrease it back to 95-100
Starting from Marich C to kurmasana, HR does not go down from 125; supta kurmasana - 136
Blessed baddhakonasana brings it down again to 100, then it goes down to 90-somtheing, until, of course, setu bandhasana - 127
Pasasana - 130
HR does not go down at all during all second series backbends, and actually reaches 150 after kapotasana (wihich is 15 points more than lagu vajrasana)
UD and dropbacks are not quite as strenuous as I thought they were - HR up to 135
Finishing poses do not decrease HR substantially, but not raise it as well, except for utpluthee - 134
Savasana - 81

I know that my cardiovascular health is not very athletic, so this record might not be helpful at all to all of you, athletic people. But it was interesting to me that vinyasas are as strenuous as just walking (not that strenuous at all - but again, my jumpbacks suck). Sarvangasana and sirsasana are not restorative. I also expected a higher raise of the HR after twists. Kapotasana results are not suprising.

So if I calculate my aerobic target rate, it comes to 103 to 156 for my age. Which means that I keep my heart rate somewhere is the middle of this range practicing ashtanga. This makes me happy...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Kapotasana B woes.

So this is my Kapotasana. Honestly speaking, this is the first time I am seeing it myself, and it is not as flat as I thought it was. I do see all that re-gained weight though, sigh. Anyway, I need some advice. That pathetic attempt to an exit from Kapotasana B is my best attempt to date. What am I doing wrong? Where should I press, which muscles to engage and which to relax? Please help! :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I like ashtanga again. I think.

Several massages, being cautious in my practice and just generally taking it easy made my aversion to all things ashtanga subside a little. I somewhat re-acquired the enthusiasm for practice, though I still can't manage more than a three day Mysore week.

So while I was away:

1) Attended Simon Park's workshops at Flow yoga. Super-nice person, fun and challenging flows, I got some progress going in my handstands. I was happy but a little surprised at my lack of stamina. I think that vinyasa classes that I teach are just as challenging, but then again, I teach them, not do them. Note to self - add some cardio, Saturdays perhaps?

2) Kapotasana is a little better. My back is no longer shocked after it, and backbends are just fine. I would say that UD became better because of kapotasana. But I still can't stand up from kapotasana B. David thinks it is purely psychological (it took me forever to learn to stand up from UD). But I think it is my alleged lack of psoas minor. A girl can blame her ashtanga problems on anatomical deficiencies, right? It is a basic human right.

3) Had an energy correcting session with a shaman-in-training. Do not ask.

4) Am excited but also dreading upcoming immunology teaching starting this January.

5) Nearly all the weight that I lost with such difficulty this year came back. Makes me sad. Can't bind supta kurmasana on my own. Can't bind wrist in Mari C, D and pasasana. Somebody, please slap me.

I am going to read your blogs now. Ciao!


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