mindful modification weaning



I found myself unable to get to mysore for most of last week for a number of reasons. As a result, my time on the mat was drastically reduced. I returned to the room on Sunday feeling oddly energized in spite of the hour “lost” to the time change. I began in the usual way with my surya namaskaras and standing poses, then moved to the early part of the seated series. I did all of my vinyasas, jumping back and through to the best of my ability as per the ashtanga tradition. At that point, I moved into intermediate to assess how my body would respond to adding back some of the poses I haven’t been doing for some time (namely kapotasana). The plan was to move into the pose with mindful observation, careful not to overdue it.

I surprised myself and touched down for the first time in several weeks. My teacher, who was leading the weekly led practice for all comers had her hands full with a large group of students that included the latest teacher trainees. Unlike most Sundays, she did not have an assistant. I have no idea if she even saw that I was moving into intermediate. I opted to leave well enough alone and stop just prior to all of the leg -behind-the-head poses.

I returned to the room on Monday, feeling brave enough to continue to explore some additional poses from intermediate. With my Spartan Race on Sunday, I opted to modify them so that I could gauge my body’s tolerance to them in a stepwise fashion and be insured not to open my hips to the level of instability they have been at up until now.

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Taking it slow



It’s been a while since I have written here. I was been given quite a few new poses and was plowing ahead in my practice with determination to learn these new poses. The realization that the end of second series was coming to a close, with just 7 headstands left in the sequence, both excited me and made me nervous.

I wish I could say that I have mastered the poses leading up to these new one, but I haven’t. And I was okay with that until….another sacroiliac injury hit. Now, I am barely doing any yoga as I let my body heal. In the poses that do unfold on my mat, I notice a heightened awareness of how my body responds to even the most subtle of movements. I am learning a lot as I find ways to modify my approach to my practice (poses, props, and omissions). It is my expectation that I will come out on the other side of this injury armed with a lot of new knowledge.

In the meantime, I am reminded to take it slow in my return.

Did I Do That?



Today is yet another day where I have not been able to get my legs into lotus while in Sirsasana. It’s a little strange, yet also not strange at all. I wonder if I subconsciously created this struggle to get out of being officially given Karandavasana.

You see, just over a week ago, I was able to easily get my legs into lotus. On observing, Mojdeh (my teacher) commented that I might be ready to start working on it while in Pincha Mayurasana. In my mind, I thought “NO! I am definitely NOT READY.”  The next time I practiced, I couldn’t do it.

It kind of makes you wonder:

  • Do we subconsciously set ourselves up for failure out of fear of success that would require more out of us?
  • If we have done so, how do we undo the mess we created?

Correct Perception?



As I age, it is all too easy for me to get caught up in the things and parts of myself that are just not the same. Whether it is a physical pain/discomfort that I am feeling, an inability to perform a physical movement (such as a pull up or particular asana), or the broken garage door that has me parking my car outside.

These changes are just that: changes. They aren’t necessarily good or bad. They just are.

Sometimes we think things are one way…

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